England name unchanged squad for first Pakistan Test

Stuart Broad leads England from the field after their third Test victory Getty Images

England have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan, which starts next Wednesday. The six senior fast bowlers - James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Sam Curran - are all included, giving Joe Root and Chris Silverwood options for when the team regroups at the weekend.

Four reserves will also be on hand, in case of the need for Covid-19 substitutions: Ben Foakes, as back-up wicketkeeper, spinner Jack Leach and two uncapped batsmen, James Bracey and Dan Lawrence.

England's Test players have been allowed a short break from the bio-secure environment after securing victory in the third Test against West Indies on Tuesday. They have been allowed to return home, under certain conditions, but will return to Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday. The first Pakistan Test will take place in Manchester, before the teams relocate to Southampton for the second and third matches.

England played four fast bowlers in the third Test - Anderson, Broad, Woakes and Archer - in part because Ben Stokes was carrying a quad injury and unable to contribute with the ball. His return to fitness could see them change the balance of the side again, with Zak Crawley a candidate to return at No. 3.

The selectors have also retained faith in Jos Buttler as wicketkeeper, after he made his first half-century since last summer's Ashes to help set up a 269-run win that enabled England to reclaim the Wisden Trophy.

The 2-1 success saw England come from behind for the second Test series in a row, and means they currently sit third on the World Test Championship table. Two wins during their three-Test series against Pakistan would enable them to overtake Australia, currently on 296 points, in second.