England’s cricket head coach Chris Silverwood has named his strongest squad for Ashes tour 2021, without any of his players backing out because of travel issues. Silverwood also left the door open for Ben Stokes, asking him to call whenever he’s ready to make a comeback. The team features 17 talented players, including:
- Captain Joe Root
- James Anderson
- Rory Burns
- Jonathan Bairstow
- Stuart Broad
- Dom Bess
- Mark Wood
- Ollie Robinson
- Chris Woakes
- Ollie Pope
- Dawid Malan
- Craig Overton
- Jack Leach
- Dan Lawrence
- Haseeb Hameed
- Jos Buttler
- Zak Crawley
Besides Ben Strokes, another notable absence that will be a huge loss for the team is Jofra Archer – who will be resting for the rest of the year to recover from an elbow injury. However, England will try their best to take back the urn from Australia, with the games starting on 8th December at the Gabba, and cricket betting fans can shop for odds at OddsShark.
Stokes hasn’t confirmed whether he’ll be ready to join the team before the Ashes, as he is still going through a four-week rehabilitation following a finger surgery. The attacking middle-order batsman is also on an indefinite leave to take care of his mental health and isn’t expected to return to the team before their red-ball specialist leaves next month. Stokes will also struggle to fit in the match after staying out of training since July.
While naming the Ashes squad, Silverwood refused to rule out Ben’s possible late arrival on the team. After revealing his 17-man squad with no uncapped wildcards, Silverwood revealed that Ben is moving forward and in the communications they’ve had, the 30-year-old seems more upbeat.
Jos Buttler was named as Root’s deputy, despite being the players who Silverwood was unsure of their capabilities. However, Silverwood won’t be pressuring Ben to rush back to the squad as he wants to make sure that he’s ready to perform when he’s ok.
Stokes was also absent during the 2017/2018 tour after the fallout from the famed Bristol incident, with the competition packed with talks of a possible return. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and only a year after Root took the captaincy, England suffered a 4-0 defeat to see the Ashes change hands.
Averaging 66 in 2021 with six-century runs and 1,455 runs, Root is in the best form ever and has a huge experience as a leader. Silverwood has also heaped praises on Root for his leadership during the highly-charged talks about the quarantine and the players’ off-pitch living conditions that dominated cricket circles in recent weeks.
According to Silverwood, lots of negotiations went on and the captain showed a lot of class during the process. Root led from the front, showing a lot of class, empathy, and good leadership skills for getting his men to this point. He also looked after the staff in a very skillful way and that has helped him galvanize his leadership position in the team.
Silverwood revealed that all his men and support staff have recognized Root’s leadership skills, with everyone rallying behind him. Root came back to the team with a level view on everything, which helped the team reach its current level. The coach is currently in Oman for the T20 World Cup campaign that started earlier this week until 14th November and he must get their heads back on cricket even with issues hindering the Ashes tour like travel and visa exemptions for staff and players.
With Archer out, Dom Bess and Jack Leach are the best spin options for the team, which will also be without Olly Stone because of a lower back fracture. That leaves Mark Wood as the only 90mph fast bowler standing in the attack. Fortunately, England managed to defeat New Zealand in the T20 World Cup warm-up and the coach believes they have what it takes to succeed in the World Cup and the Ashes.
Despite Silverwood’s optimism on succeeding in cricket, over half of the players named in the Ashes tour squad haven’t been featured in this competition. That means the team will be fresh and seeking to embrace cricket alongside the excitement of touring one of the world’s best destinations.
Silverwood believes he has selected a well-balanced team with options in every area and a blend of experience and youth. There’s also a significant competition for spots and a strong desire to compete and work hard hoping to write history.
The team understands that the task will be difficult, as Australia has always been a strong team at home and most fans expect them to win the series. However, England is genuinely excited about the Ashes and the team believes it can do something special, although their top order besides Root seems thin with multiple players under pressure to score or lose their spots.