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Moeen, Robson, Jordan get Test calls

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Moeen Ali has earned a Test call-up © Getty Images
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England have named three uncapped players in a 12-man squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka. Moeen Ali, Sam Robson and Chris Jordan earn their first call-ups while there are recalls for Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Matt Prior.

The three new faces were widely tipped to be included - Moeen will fill the spin-bowling role - but Ben Stokes, who scored a hundred and took a five-wicket haul during the Ashes, has not been included. Robson will open the batting alongside Alastair Cook, as England continue to search for a stable first-wicket pair, while Jordan is expected to line up in the seam attack.

Plunkett's return comes more than three years since his last international outing, a one-day international in Perth in 2010-11, and seven years after his previous Test against West Indies in 2007.

The selectors have also backed the fitness of Prior after he kept for 172 overs during the Championship against Nottinghamshire. It was just his second match of the season as he battled to overcome his Achilles problem.

Woakes is effectively taking Stokes' place, whose omission was explained as a lack of bowling since his comeback from injury having broken his wrist when he punched a locker in West Indies.

James Whitaker, the national selector, said: "We would also like to acknowledge the contribution of both the county and England performance programme coaches in helping to develop the talents of Sam Robson, Liam Plunkett, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes. All four have carried their exciting winter form into the domestic season to earn well deserved recognition.

"We believe that this group of emerging talent will be very well complimented by the established core of experienced players that have been selected."

Squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Sam Robson, Joe Root, Chris Woakes

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