LONDON (Reuters) -Veteran seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad returned to the England test squad on Wednesday for the first two tests against New Zealand next month.
The three-match home series will mark the beginning of Ben Stokes’ tenure as England’s test captain and will be the first assignment of their newly-appointed red-ball coach and former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.
Anderson and Broad, first and second on England’s all-time list of test wicket takers with 1,177 between them, were omitted from the three-match series in West Indies where the team lost 1-0 and eventually led to Joe Root’s resignation as the captain.
Anderson said the snub prompted him to consider retirement.
“This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon,” managing director Rob Key said in a statement issued by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month’s test series.”
Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook and Durham seamer Matthew Potts received maiden call-ups as part of the 13-man squad.
“We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level,” Key said.
“It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can’t wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side.
“It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country.”
Lord’s hosts the first test from June 2, followed by matches at Trent Bridge and Headingley.
England have won only one of their last 17 tests while New Zealand are the reigning world Test champions.
Fast bowlers Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Saqib Mahmood, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, and Olly Stone are all unavailable because of injuries.
Ben Stokes (captain), Joe Root, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru and Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by John Stonestreet and Martyn Herman)