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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Cricket Buzz: 'Fresh blood will help England raise game for Ashes'

Cricket Buzz: 'Fresh blood will help England raise game for Ashes'

October 06, 2017 15:35 IST

Mark Stoneman made his debut in the first day-night Test at Edgbaston against West Indies played in August and will be one of the newer faces in the England squad for the Ashes series

IMAGE: Mark Stoneman made his debut in the first day-night Test at Edgbaston against West Indies played in August and will be one of the newer faces in the England squad for the Ashes series. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images via Reuters

England's decision to bring fresh faces into their Ashes squad will push the team's more experienced players to raise their games, wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has said.

The 16-man squad includes batsmen Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan and fast bowler Jake Ball, who have 11 Test caps between them, as well as three uncapped players in paceman Craig Overton, spinner Mason Crane and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

 

"We want people to be coming in and pushing for places in the side for that first Test and if they do that then that will bring out the best in the rest of squad," Bairstow told Sky Sports.

"We've seen what people pushing for starting places has done to the one-day side and the skill levels have gone in a positive direction because of that."

The 28-year-old said the team would be a little nervous but in good spirits when they touched down in Australia for the five-match series, which starts in Brisbane on Nov. 23.

"The Ashes is talked about wherever cricket is played, not just in England and Australia but all around the world," he added.

"The eyes of the world will be on you and it's a big series, no question.

"So the guys will come in, yes, with a bit of excitement and a touch of nerves, but also full of enthusiasm and that is going to be what we need."

Aus pacer John Hastings announces Test , ODI retirement; to play T20s

Australia's John Hastings, centre, celebrates a wicket

IMAGE: Australia's John Hastings, centre, celebrates a wicket. Photograph: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

Australian fast bowler John Hastings, on Friday, announced his retirement from first-class and one-day cricket, following a succession of gruelling injuries.

Hastings, who played one Test for Australia in 2012 and has thrived in international limited-overs formats, will continue to play T20 cricket, and be eligible for Australian selection in this format.

The 31-year-old played the first of his 29 ODI matches against India in 2010, and his most recent against New Zealand in June this year, claiming 42 wickets across all matches.

Hastings' sole Test appearance was against South Africa in 2012 at the WACA Ground, claiming the wicket of AB De Villers. He has also represented Australia on nine occasions in T20Is.

"Trying to get back after four shoulder reconstructions, four major ankle operations and a major knee operation has just worn me down," Hastings was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"The body is just giving up and every time I try to load back to get back to four-day cricket or one-day cricket, it seems as if something else goes. It was a tough decision, one that wasn't made lightly, but I've decided to give the two longer formats away and focus on T20," he added.

The right-armer's first-class career has spanned 11 years, with Hastings making his debut for Victoria in 2007. Hastings played a total of 75 first-class and 113 List A matches in this time, collecting a total of 418 wickets and averaging more than 20 with the bat in each format.

Selector Inzamam's nephew gets Pakistan call-up

Pakistan's chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked his nephew, Imam-ul-Haq, in the 15-member one-day squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.

The squad announced on Friday by the Pakistan Cricket Board has only one change from the squad that won the Champions Trophy in England in June with the senior batsman, Azhar Ali dropped to make way for Imam.

"Azhar has been rested for the series to regain full fitness," a board statement said.

Before the Test series against the Lankans, Azhar had struggled with a knee problem but was picked in the final line up after being treated with injections.

The 21-year old Imam, a left-hand batsman, has played in just 31 First-Class matches and 24 List A games before being picked in the national squad.

Inzamam said Imam had been picked because of his consistent performances in domestic cricket and to give chance to a youngster in home conditions.

The selectors have also recalled experienced batsmen, Ahmed Shehzad and Muhammad Hafeez for the five-match series.

Imam, a top-order batsman, has appeared for the Pakistan under-19 and emerging squad.

Pakistan squad: Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Muhammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf. Hasan Ali, Muhammad Aamir, Ruman Raees, Junaid Khan, Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq.

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