Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo
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England have announced an unchanged squad for the first two men's Ashes Tests. The 16-man party, which includes Worcestershire seamer Josh Tongue who was drafted in as bowling cover for the one-off Test against Ireland currently taking place at Lord's, will report to Birmingham ahead of the Edgbaston Test starting on June 16.
The announcement comes as no surprise, particularly with James Anderson (groin) and Ollie Robinson (ankle) progressing well in their respective recoveries from injury. The pair have been bowling at Lord's, where England were pushing for a three-day victory over Ireland having registered a 352-run first-innings leads following a mammoth 524 for 4 declared.
Both are likely to return to the XI for the first Test against Australia, along with Mark Wood who missed the Ireland Test to spend time with his second child born last week. Chris Woakes has also been retained, giving Ben Stokes seven pace-bowling options to pick from.
The majority of the group are due to head to Loch Lomond in Scotland next week as part of a team-bonding trip ahead of the five-match series with Australia. A number of players are heading up at the start of the week before a more official gathering at the weekend. While essentially a golf trip, the getaway is geared towards giving the players more time together, building on a successful week reestablishing the connections and frame of mind that has been a huge part of life under Brendon McCullum and Stokes.
They will be in situ for the first Test the following Monday, before their first training session at Edgbaston on Tuesday, June 13.
England men's Ashes Test squad: Ben Stokes (capt), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood