England Confirms Debutant For First Test Against NZ

England Confirms Debutant For First Test Against NZ Photo: TT
England's James Bracey catches the ball during a practice session at Lord's Cricket Ground in London, Monday, May 31, 2021.England will play New Zealand in the first of two cricket tests here starting June 2

Wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey will make his England debut in the First Test against New Zealand at Lord’s starting on Wednesday.

England captain Joe Root confirmed the news on Tuesday ahead of the series opener against the Black Caps, which includes two Tests.

Bracey steps into the English XI following a hamstring injury to Ben Foakes, with Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow rested.

He is a 24-year-old Gloucestershire gloveman, who averages 36.78 at first class level, making more than 2,500 runs across 44 matches in county cricket.

Bracey was named as one of seven reserve players for England’s series against Sri Lanka in December, as well as the follow-up series against India.

“He has worked extremely hard and been around the squad for a good while now,” Root said.

“He has a great work ethic and gone back and performed extremely well for Gloucestershire, so we are really excited to see him take his opportunity. We know how good a player he is and he is in great form.

“It’s a chance for him to embrace and enjoy a great stage of his career.”

All-rounder Ben Stokes will miss due to a fractured finger sustained during this year’s IPL. Stuart Broad will step in as vice-captain.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson played down any talk of revenge for England’s thrilling World Cup final victory over the Black Caps in 2019.

“Theres certainly no thought of owing anybody anything,” he said.

“We were both part of a fantastic game that was decided, in the end, by things that were largely outside both teams control. Both teams went at it to the best of their abilities on a wicket that offered a little bit for everybody. It was a special game to be a part of.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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