PPED batsman Adam Lyth is set to partner skipper Alastair Cook at the top of the batting order on his international debut when England face New Zealand in next week’s first Test at Lord’s.
The 27-year-old left-hander is expected to replace Jonathan Trott, who announced his retirement in the wake of England’s tour of the West Indies, after a failed experiment to utilise him as an opener.
Lyth scored a total of 1,489 runs, including two double hundreds, for county champions Yorkshire last summer, but was unused during England’s drawn series in the Caribbean.
“I can’t wait to walk out with AC [Alastair Cook] at Lord’s next Thursday,” said Lyth. “It will be the proudest moment of my life.
“I’m sure there will be quite a few nerves on the Wednesday night and on the morning of the game, but hopefully I can control them and get some runs in front of a packed house.”
The 12-man squad for the first Test, which starts on Thursday 21 May, contains 10 of the 11 players which featured in the last two matches against the West Indies, including England’s demoralising five-wicket loss in Barbados.
Durham paceman Mark Wood, who also travelled to the West Indies but remained uncapped, is included in the squad and will compete for a place in the England bowling attack.
Alastair Cook (Essex, captain), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Mark Wood (Durham)