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Footitt a surprise inclusion in England pre-Ashes training squad

England have announced a 14-man pre-Ashes training squad that will travel to Spain for four days from June 27th, along with new head coach Trevor Bayliss, with no real surprises except Derbyshire bowler Mark Footitt.

The news comes the day after England’s terrific fourth ODI win over New Zealand to level the series, which they are now even-money chances with Coral to claim in the final match on Saturday, June 20th.

New director of England cricket Andrew Strauss said on the announcement: “With Trevor Bayliss arriving in the country next Thursday, Trevor, Alastair [Cook] and I felt it important that both players and management likely to be involved in the early stages of the Ashes have chance to meet him and fully understand his approach prior to meeting up for the start of the Test series.

“With that in mind, we have arranged a preparation camp in Spain. This will involve a combination of physical and fielding sessions and planning meetings in an informal environment in order to provide the best possible lead up to the first Test in Cardiff.

“The squad for the first Test will be announced within a few of days of returning from the camp.”

The likes of recently-capped Adam Lyth and Mark Wood have made the cut, while Steven Finn has been recalled. But the one shock selection is left-arm paceman Footitt, the only uncapped player, who managed 104 wickets across all formats of the game for county club Derbyshire last season.

Just one recognised spinner has been included for the trip to Spain, Moeen Ali, but there is no one of the ilk of former star Graeme Swann. Have England missed out on an opportunity to call up the closest thing to Shane Warne too, in Yorkshire leg-breaker Adil Rashid, who has impressed this ODI series with both bat and ball?

Rashid’s clubmates Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Liam Plunkett, along with Lyth, have made the squad, though.

Joe Root

Another noticeable absence is all-rounder Chris Jordan, who took part in the recent Test against the West Indies.

England, who have won the last three Ashes on home soil, but were whitewashed last time out in Australia, are tempting 7/2 chances to reclaim the series this year.

England’s 14-man pre-Ashes training squad: Alastair Cook (Essex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Mark Footitt (Derbyshire), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Wood (Durham).

Australia’s 17-man Ashes squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith (vice-capt), Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.