James Anderson has not been named in the England squad for the first Test with Pakistan at Lord’s.
The Lancashire 33-year-old is England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker but was omitted from the squad announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury.
Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones has been called up for the first time and is likely to be competing with Jake Ball, who is also uncapped, for a place in next Thursday’s first Test.
Gary Ballance has been recalled to the squad for the first time in a year, with the Yorkshire batsman preferred to both Anderson’s Lancashire team-mate Jos Buttler, who has been impressive in the shorter forms, and Ben Stokes, who is on the comeback trail after knee surgery.
Skipper Alastair Cook is hopeful Anderson can be involved for the second Test at Old Trafford.
“Jimmy has been touch and go for a while,” Cook said of the bowler, who was injured during the third Test against Sri Lanka in June.
“He is making really good progress but it is the selectors’ view that he just won’t be quite ready for that first Test, hopefully for the second.”
With Anderson’s absence confirmed, it is set to be Roland-Jones and Ball going head to head to fill the vacant seamers’ spot.
The former has taken 30 wickets for Middlesex in the Specsavers County Championship this season and Cook has been impressed by the 28-year-old.
“Toby has had a really good summer so far and has been there or thereabouts for the last three years or so,” he said.