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England refrain from major changes in Test squad against New Zealand series

England called up Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone and returning paceman Mark Wood in its 16-man squad for the two-match Test series in New Zealand in March.

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: January 11, 2018 8:49 IST ]
Image Source : AP A file image of the England players during a Test match.

England's cricket selectors refrained Wednesday from a radical shakeup of the Test squad despite a 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia. Nothing went right for the Joe Root led Englishmen in Australia where as the only positive they can take back from the five-match rubber was the draw at Melbourne. The resilient visitors batted well enough but only to secure a draw, better than a clean sweep of five to nothing.

England called up Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone and returning paceman Mark Wood in its 16-man squad for the two-match Test series in New Zealand in March.

Gary Ballance, Jake Ball and Tom Curran were the only absentees from the group of players led by captain Joe Root in Australia.

Ballance did not feature in the series, Ball featured only in the first Test and Curran was a late addition to the squad before turning out in Melbourne and Sydney.

England play two warm-up matches in Hamilton before its winter schedule finally comes to a close with Tests in Auckland on March 22 and Christchurch on March 30.

As has been the case with the last three squad announcements, Ben Stokes appears with a caveat next to his name, as the all-rounder waits to find out if he will be charged by the Crown Prosecution Service following an incident outside an English nightclub on Sept. 25.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said: "His involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September."

England Test Squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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