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News

Josh Tongue added to England men's Test squad to face Ireland

Worcestershire seamer drafted in after injury concerns over James Anderson and Ollie Robinson

Josh Tongue has been drafted into the England Test squad  •  Getty Images

Josh Tongue has been drafted into the England Test squad  •  Getty Images

Josh Tongue has been added to the England men's Test squad to face Ireland.
The uncapped Worcestershire seamer is drafted in after injury concerns over James Anderson and Ollie Robinson left England with just four fast bowling options for the opening Test of the summer beginning at Lord's on June 1.
The 25-year-old Tongue has been on England's radar as one to watch and toured Sri Lanka with the England Lions in February. He impressed in the second unofficial Test - his Lions debut - taking 5 for 34 and 3 for 77 against Sri Lanka A.
Though his red ball experience has been limited recently, the right-armer has begun the 2023 season with 11 wickets in Division Two of the Championship. One of those against Sussex saw him become the first English bowler to dismiss Steve Smith this summer, trapping the Australian lbw for 30. The call-up marks a remarkable turnaround after Tongue considered retirement last year after 15 months out with a shoulder injury
Having come through the pathway at New Road since the age of six, Tongue has shown good pace and bounce from a tall action and will join the Test squad for their camp this weekend as a point of difference. With Robinson, Anderson and Mark Wood due to sit out the Ireland Test to preserve their fitness for the upcoming Ashes series, Tongue could be an outside shot for a maiden cap next week. Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Matthew Potts are the other seamers in the squad.
Speaking to Worcestershire CCC's website on his call-up, Josh Tongue said: "The invaluable experience I gained during the winter as part of the Lions team has given me the hunger to represent my country in more international cricket matches and obviously the next step is Test cricket."
"While my focus has primarily been on playing for Worcestershire, who I love playing for, the news of my selection for the Test squad is fantastic news."
Luke Wright, England men's national selector, said: "We have been monitoring Josh for quite some time and he deserves this call-up to the Test squad. It will be a great experience for him to understand and get used to the environment under Ben [Stokes] and Brendon [McCullum].
"It is important to have players ready to respond and with a big summer of Test cricket coming up, we will need that depth to our squad. We wish Josh and the rest of the squad well for the first international of the campaign."
Meanwhile, Ireland have also announced a change to their squad for the one-off Test with uncapped seamer Matthew Foster replacing Conor Olphert who has failed to recover from an ongoing knee issue. The squad will depart for England on Wednesday evening, ahead of a three-day warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford, which begins on Friday (May 26).

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo