England Cricket: Ben Foakes out, Haseeb Hameed and Sam Billings called into hosts’ squad for Test Series against New Zealand

Ben Foakes (left) averages 31.53 in his eight England Tests, Haseeb Hameed (centre) has two fifties in his three Tests and Sam Billings (right) is yet to receive a cap at Test level. Photo by BBC Sport

England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes will miss the two Tests against New Zealand in June after picking up a hamstring injury, whilst opener Haseeb Hameed and keeper Sam Billings have both been included in England’s squad.

Foakes, who plays for Surrey, slipped in the dressing room following their County Championship match against Middlesex on Sunday.

Nottinghamshire’s Hameed played three Tests in 2016, during England’s tour of India before several inclined years but has impressed for his county so far this season.

Kent’s Billings is a regular in the limited-overs sides but remains uncapped at Test level.

England face New Zealand in two Tests, with the first Test starting on 2 June at Lord’s, followed by the second Test on 10 June at Edgbaston.

Foakes’ injury means that Gloucestershire’s James Bracey is expected to make his Test debut as England’s wicketkeeper at Lord’s a week on Wednesday.

Bracey, 24, was acting as both the keeping and batting reserve in the initial 15-man squad, but with him now more than likely to be in the starting eleven, Chris Silverwood’s side required cover for both.

Foakes, 28, is expected to be out of action for at least three months and it means that he is yet to play a Test on home soil, having made a Test ton on debut in Sri Lanka in 2018 before playing in the West Indies and India.

England’s next Test series will be against India, which commences on 4 August.

Hameed, 24, became the youngest debutant to open for England in a Test in the first match against India at Rajkot in November 2016, when aged just 19.

He scored his maiden Test fifty in that game and a second half-century in the second innings of the third Test, despite breaking his finger in the first innings, which forced him to miss the rest of the tour.

He later struggled at Lancashire, before signing for Nottinghamshire for the 2020 season.

This year Hameed has scored 474 runs at an average of 52.66 in the County Championship, including back-to-back centuries in the same match against Worcestershire last month.

Kent captain Billings, 29, has played 22 one-day internationals and 30 Twenty20 internationals for England since making his debut in 2015.

He has six first-class hundreds, however Billings has played only one County Championship match for Kent so far this campaign, scoring just 11 runs against Glamorgan earlier this month.

Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow were all omitted, having only recently returned from the cancelled Indian Premier League.

Ben Stokes (broken finger) and Jofra Archer (elbow) are both injury absentees.

Updated England Squad:ย Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Sam Billings (Kent), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Zak Crawley (Kent), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

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