India Test series: Ben Stokes recalled as England seek win to take pressure off Alastair Cook

The Durham all-rounder is one of six seam bowlers in a party which contains no front-line spinner

cricket correspondent

England have made only one amendment to the squad which lost the Test series to Sri Lanka. For that to continue they must start winning quickly against India, preferably in the opening Test which starts at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

Ben Stokes, the effervescent Durham all-rounder, was at last added to the party which will gather in Nottingham on Sunday.

The selection does not guarantee Stokes a place in the starting XI, but after his omission from the first Test series of the summer it would merely continue the perversity were the solitary shining success of a dreadful winter to continue to be overlooked.

Stokes is one of six seam bowlers in a party which contains no front-line spinner. If this shows that the cupboard in English cricket is strangely stocked, the selectors are, in a way, planning for the future.

As far as they can see, no slow bowler is likely to warrant serious attention any time soon, which means the workload on four seamers is set to be gruelling. The upshot almost certainly will be fatigue and injury

James Whitaker, the national selector, said: “We have got five Test matches in a very short space of time and one of the reasons to include six seamers is that we believe at some stage they’re all going to play.

“At the start of the series while they’re talking about the Indians and strategy and tactics, it makes sense to include that group so they get the first-hand knowledge straightaway in the build-up.”

Moeen Ali will continue to be entrusted with most of the team’s spinning but India will hardly be losing any sleep about that. Despite his wonderful rearguard hundred at Headingley in the second Test against Sri Lanka, Moeen’s bowling is another matter.

It clearly does not have the unequivocal support of the captain, Alastair Cook, while the country’s other spinners palpably lack Whitaker’s support. “We have recognised since Graeme Swann retired that our balance and make-up of the team will have to change,” said Whitaker. “He was a mighty good player, but in England we have decided to go with the balance of the team at the moment that has Moeen bowling the spin along with Joe Root and we have the option of the seamers to help the balance.

“Who knows how good Moeen can be? In an ideal world Graeme Swann plays, someone with that experience and quality. All spinners playing in England at the moment will realise they haven’t got that but we have to give confidence and as much encouragement to Moeen Ali to produce.”

It is, in its way, a wing and a prayer choice and the figures suggest that Moeen’s off-spin has been much more successful against left-handers than right-handers. Much of the attention at Trent Bridge will be on Cook and his chronic lack of runs but Whitaker made it as plain as he could that there is no prospect of changing the captain.

“Alastair is very confident, he is full of resolve, he is determined to turn things around, he is excited by the blend of youth and experience he has got,” said Whitaker. “He is creating a very good environment and culture with Peter [Moores, the coach] that enables these guys coming into the team to succeed.”

Suggestions from the Kevin Pietersen corner that all is not well in the dressing room were dismissed. “As selectors we are 100 per cent certain that the environment and the culture of the team is growing in a positive way.”

But without a win in eight Tests, Whitaker knows it will have to change rapidly. He was adamant. “England will start winning soon,” he said.

England squad for first Test v India

A N Cook (capt), S D Robson, G S Ballance, I R Bell, J E Root, M M Ali, B A Stokes, M J Prior (wkt), J M Anderson, S C J Broad, C J Jordan, L E Plunkett, C R Woakes.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game