Pakistan v England 2015-16 September 15, 2015

Hales, Ansari, Taylor earn Test call-ups

Alex Hales, Zafar Ansari and James Taylor have been named in England's 16-man squad for the Test series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Hales replaces the discarded Adam Lyth as the seventh opening batsman to be selected since Andrew Strauss' retirement in 2012, although it is not a certainty that he will walk out alongside Alastair Cook in Abu Dhabi on October 13.

Depending on how England structure their final XI in order to accommodate the extra spinner very likely required in the UAE they could open with Moeen Ali or even the uncapped Ansari who has taken 44 Championship wickets for Surrey this season with his left-arm spin.

Hales has not paid the price for a disappointing one-day series against Australia where he made 53 runs in five innings. Instead the selectors backed his Championship form for the season which had brought 886 runs at 52.11 before the current round of matches, including scores of 236 against Yorkshire and 189 against Warwickshire.

Ansari made his ODI debut against Ireland, in Dublin, back in May but the match was abandoned after 18 overs and he did not feature in the remaining limited-overs squads during the season. However, he has made over 700 runs for Surrey in the Championship alongside his wicket haul and scored 99 against a Lancashire attack, which included James Anderson, on Monday.

Taylor, who played two Tests against South Africa in 2012, is the other member of the squad who did not feature during the Ashes. He made his maiden international hundred in the third ODI against Australia at Old Trafford and could yet push for a spot in the middle order against Pakistan. He has made 827 runs in the Championship although 291 of them came in one innings against Sussex. He is preferred to Gary Ballance who was dropped after the second Test against Australia.

"The challenge we face against Pakistan will be very different and the composition of our squads reflects the conditions we expect to encounter in the UAE," James Whitaker, the national selector, said. "Zafar Ansari's potential excites us and he will provide strong competition for Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in the Test squad after enjoying an excellent domestic season with both bat and ball for Surrey.

"Alex Hales has scored heavily for Nottinghamshire in first-class cricket this season, has shown he can play match-winning innings for England in white ball cricket and fully deserves an opportunity to compete for a place at the top of the order in our Test side."

The rest of the squad is as expected with Liam Plunkett taking the additional fast-bowling slot while Jonny Bairstow will contest a middle-order batting spot and act as reserve keeper.

Ben Stokes, meanwhile, has been rested for the one-day series against Pakistan - he was the only England player to appear in every international at home this season against New Zealand and Australia - while Chris Jordan and Lancashire's Stephen Parry have been recalled for the T20s. Jordan has not featured for England since being injured in the one-day series against New Zealand and Parry's last match consisted of two overs for 23 in the World T20 game against Netherlands in Chittagong which England lost.

Stuart Broad continues to be left out of the white-ball squads but Joe Root, who was rested for the limited-overs matches against Australia, returns for all formats while fast bowler Mark Wood, who has been carefully managed due to his injury history, is part of all three squads.

"In line with our recent decision to rest Joe Root for the one-day series against Australia, we have opted not to include Ben Stokes in our one-day or T20 international squads," Whitaker said

"Ben has been an outstanding performer for England this summer and this decision reflects a desire to manage his workload across a busy winter period in all three formats of the game. He will come back into contention for the white-ball format when we consider the make-up of our squads for the tour of South Africa later in the year."

Also, as revealed by ESPNcricinfo, Mahela Jayawardene will join the Test squad as a batting consultant for the warm-up matches and first Test while Paul Collingwood, the former England captain, will work with the limited-overs teams on this tour and at the World T20 in India next year.

Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, said: "We are delighted that Mahela and Paul will be joining the England management team, supporting our existing specialist coaches in this area. Both will bring a vast wealth of cricketing knowledge and expertise to the team, and in Mahela's case, extensive experience of batting in the sub-continent which will be invaluable as part of our wider preparations for the UAE tour."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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