Sport Cricket Australian-born batsman set for England Test cap

Australian-born batsman set for England Test cap

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Australia-born Sam Robson is in line to make his England debut after the Middlesex opener was named in the squad to play Sri Lanka in next week’s first Test at his Lord’s home ground.

Robson was one of three uncapped players named by national selector James Whitaker in a 12-man group along with allrounder Chris Jordan, who impressed during the recent 3-2 one-day series defeat against Sri Lanka, and Moeen Ali, who provides England with their lone spin option.

Yorkshire seamer Liam Plunkett was recalled having last played Test cricket seven years ago.

Matt Prior, who has been struggling with an achilles injury, was passed fit to keep wicket.

And that meant there was no place for Jos Buttler, who made a blistering century for England against Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international at Lord’s on Saturday or Jonny Bairstow, the man who replaced Prior during England’s 5-0 Ashes series loss in Australia.

England national selector James Whitaker said: “We believe that this group of emerging talent will be very well complemented by the established core of experienced players that have been selected.”

Robson, the son of an English-born mother, is set to open alongside England captain Alastair Cook after Michael Carberry was dropped in what was Peter Moores’s first Test squad since he returned to the job of England coach.

He impressed on recent England second-string tours of Australia and Sri Lanka, making five hundreds in six matches while his coach at Middlesex, Angus Fraser, is now a Test selector.

Robson, an Australia Under-19 international who also played for Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs club, headed to London soon after leaving school.

Last year, Cricket Australia brought in the so-called ‘Robson rule’ allowing dual passport-holders to play domestic matches in more than one country.

But Robson, whose Middlesex captain is Australia opener Chris Rodgers, insisted in April he felt no conflict of loyalties.

“Middlesex is where I’ve learnt to play first-class cricket,” he explained at the time.

“I committed simply by coming in the first place, signing up and giving up opportunities in Australia when I was very young. So from then on my focus has always been here.”

England, with pace bowling allrounder Ben Stokes deemed not to have had enough bowling following injury, also included Chris Woakes in their squad for the first of a two-Test series.

England squad:

Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Sam Robson, Joe Root, Chris Woakes