London: England have announced a 13-member squad for the first Ashes Test beginning at Trent Bridge on Wednesday. Alastair Cook will lead the squad, involving four players - Tim Bresnan, Jonny Bairstow, Steven Finn and Joe Root - who were not part of the side in the last Ashes campaign in 2009.
Kevin Pietersen returned to the squad after recovering from a knee injury that kept him out since March. England included five pace bowlers with James Anderson leading the attack and Stuart Broad, Finn, Bresnan and Graham Onions supporting him.
The England selectors also overlooked Nick Compton, who scored two fifties (81 and 79) in the two warm-up games against the Australians. That also means that Yorkshire's young batsman Joe Root will open the batting with skipper Cook. Root and his Yorkshire team-mate Bairstow are the only players in the selected squad yet to feature in an Ashes Test. As expected, Matt Prior was chosen as the lone specialist wicketkeeper, while offspinner Graeme Swann to be the team's only spinner.
Like Swann, Broad has also recovered from the injury he picked up recently and is expected to be part of the final playing eleven.
"This is an incredibly exciting period of cricket coming up against Australia and we know we will need to play to our full potential throughout the entire Investec Ashes Series if we are to retain the Ashes," National Selector Geoff Miller said in a statement.
"We are satisfied with our preparations so far ahead of the first Test with both Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad recovering well from the injuries they picked up earlier this week. The squad will continue their hard work over the next few days and will be eagerly anticipating the start of the series on Wednesday at Trent Bridge."
England squad: Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wk), Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott