Ball set for England debut

Jake Ball (Getty Images)
Jake Ball (Getty Images)

London - Jake Ball is set to make his England debut against Pakistan at Lord's on Thursday after captain Alastair Cook confirmed his place in the side a day before the start of the first Test.

Ball was in the squad for all three Tests without playing during England's preceding 2-0 series win (with one draw). 

But Ball has now been included after James Anderson, England's all-time leading wicket-taker, was ruled out of the first of this four-Test series with a shoulder injury.

"Jake will make his debut," Cook told reporters at Lord's on Wednesday. 

"Unfortunately Jimmy has missed out but it's a great opportunity for Jake," the opening batsman added.

The 25-year-old Ball has edged out fellow uncapped seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who was hoping to make his Test debut on his Middlesex home ground, from an original 12-man squad. 

Ball came into England contention after a breakthrough 2015 season which saw him take 67 wickets across all formats for Nottinghamshire.

He followed that up with a dramatic start to the current English campaign, which has so far seen Ball take 37 first-class wickets at an average of just 22. 

"I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes, he's had a great year with Notts and looks a fine bowler," said Cook.

"He's got wicket-taking balls in him, the ability to get good players out on flat wickets, and he puts the ball in good areas with good pace." 

Cook added that Ball would open the attack alongside his Nottinghamshire team-mate Stuart Broad.

England: Alastair Cook (captain), Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Jake Ball

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