Tongue, 25, is a surprise inclusion in England’s plans, in spite of the success he enjoyed on this same ground against Ireland earlier this month. He claimed second-innings figures of 5 for 66 to set up a ten-wicket win, and provided a hostile point of difference to England’s attack on a slow pitch that proved difficult for creating wicket-taking opportunities.
His inclusion is the only change to the England team that lost the first Test at Edgbaston by two wickets. James Anderson, who admitted he had been below his best in his first outing since a groin injury, has been retained alongside England’s stand-out seamers from the first Test, Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad.
Mark Wood, England’s fastest bowler, has been overlooked once again, amid concerns about his match readiness, seeing as he has not bowled competitively since his stint with Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL in April. Tongue’s ability to bowl longer spells is also a likely factor in the absence of a specialist spinner.
England had been upbeat about the prospect of Moeen recovering from the blistered spinning finger that hampered him in the first Tests, despite the fact that the the legspinner Rehan Ahmed had been called into the squad over the weekend. However, Lord’s is not a traditionally favourable ground for slow bowling, with spinners claiming a total of 15 wickets at 50.60 in the last five Tests at the venue.
Joe Root, who took up a lot of the spin-bowling duties at Edgbaston, including 13 overs up to the new ball on the final day, will once again assume that role for the team. Matt Potts and Chris Woakes, who averages 11.33 in his five previous Tests at Lord’s, were England’s other fast-bowling bowling options.
England: 1. Ben Duckett, 2. Zak Crawley, 3. Ollie Pope, 4. Joe Root, 5. Harry Brook, 6. Ben Stokes (capt), 7. Jonathan Bairstow (wk), 8. Stuart Broad, 9. Ollie Robinson, 10. Josh Tongue, 11. James Anderson