Stokes returns but no white-ball comeback for Broad
Ben Stokes has been recalled to England's limited-overs squads for the one-day and T20 series in South Africa, but Stuart Broad will have to wait a little longer for a comeback to white-ball cricket after the selectors largely showed faith with those who impressed against Pakistan. Both Liam Plunkett and Stephen Parry were omitted, however.
Stokes was always due to miss the one-day and T20 matches against Pakistan having been rested for that leg of the tour before he sustained a collarbone injury in the final Test. But Plunkett, who was somewhat unfortunate to miss out on inclusion in the Test squad in South Africa, is overlooked again despite bowling with impressive pace and control in two of the T20s that England won in the UAE.
England are a much-improved T20 team. After a spell in which they won only two of 11 matches in the format (between January and May 2014), they have won their last six matches and risen to fourth in the ICC's team rankings.
Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, suggested Broad's name will be "spoken about" ahead of selection for the World T20 in India, and suggested his experience could yet prove an asset in future tournaments. But with the World T20 squad needing to be named before the T20 section of the South Africa tour - the deadline for the 15 names is February 8 - it seems Broad's future white ball involvement may be limited to the ODI format which he has not played since England exited the World Cup.
Broad has not featured in any of the six recent T20 victories, with England increasingly preferring left-armers such as Reece Topley and David Willey. Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan appear to be emerging as England's likely death bowlers.
"I'm sure he'll be spoken about," Bayliss said. "It would be good to have experience, especially in India. But we did pick this squad sort of thinking well, these guys have done well for us over the last little bit, let's stick with them a little bit longer and see which ones make a real go of it.
"I think going forward we will need some experience in the ODI team. Broady certainly wants to play and the selectors certainly want him to be available for selection. On this occasion it was one of those things: let's give these guys a bit more of an opportunity.
"Stuart is always there in the background with some big tournaments coming up in the next year or two. I'm sure he'll play more ODI cricket for England."
While Stokes does not have an especially impressive limited-overs record, his obvious promise and ability to bat with power, bowl with pace and field as well as anyone in the side meant his return was always on the cards. It is also understood that, while Plunkett performed well on the pitch when given the opportunity, he did not always impress during training during the UAE tour.
"Plunkett was very close to selection," Bayliss said. "It was one of those things: Ben Stokes came back, so someone's obviously got to miss out unfortunately and on this occasion Liam was the one. But it was a long chat.
"The good thing with success is that there are a lot of guys putting their hand up and wanting to be in this team. Liam is very unlucky to miss out on this one."
Parry, however, may well come back into contention as England consider including three spinners in the World T20 squad. It would appear that he and the Hampshire allrounder Liam Dawson, who has made a favourable impression on the coaching staff in recent times, are competing for the final spot in the squad.
"There's a big possibility we could take three spinners there," Bayliss said. "Who that third spinner is, we haven't had that discussion."
"We're still very much a developing side. It's going to be a big test here against South Africa. That might gives us a better understanding of where we stand. We're very happy with the way things are progressing but understand that we've still got a long way to go.
"That's one of the main reasons why we've stuck with pretty much the same squad as we've had for the last few games. It is a fairly young, inexperienced team yes, but it is one full of enthusiasm. They've had success so it is good to give those guys another opportunity."
Both Parry and Plunkett will instead return to the UAE as part of the Lions squad to play Pakistan A. James Vince captains that side, with notable inclusions being both Overton twins, 19-year-old Worcestershire keeper-batsman Joe Clarke, Tom Curran and the Middlesex seam-bowling allrounder, Toby Roland-Jones. Sam Billings is included in both the full T20 squad and the Lions squad, but misses out on ODI selection.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo