Cricket: England recall Ballance for first Test


Gary Ballance and Mark Wood have been recalled to the England squad for the first Test against South Africa next week, while uncapped seamer Toby Roland-Jones has also been included.

Ballance has not played for his country since last October after paying the price for a loss of form, but is set to get another chance in the first of four Tests against the Proteas.

Yorkshire captain Ballance has been in outstanding form with the bat at county level this season and the 27-year-old is poised to return for Joe Root's first Test as captain.

Paceman Mark Wood has also been named in a 12-man squad for the first time since October 2015, while Roland-Jones could make his Test bow on his home ground.

Spinner Liam Dawson was also included, while Keaton Jennings is set to open with Alastair Cook after Haseeb Hameed was omitted.

Jake Ball (right knee) and Chris Woakes (side strain) were ruled out due to injury.

England squad: Joe Root, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Liam Dawson, Keaton Jennings, Toby Roland-Jones, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood.