The Yorkshire pair of Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth have not been included in the England squad for next month’s Test series against Pakistan. Alex Hales and Zafar Ansari have been picked by the selectors though, as both players could make their Test debuts in the UAE. With matches being played across all of the various cricketing formats, three distinct squads have been named by England for the trip to the Persian Gulf.

Lyth’s disappointing Ashes

Lyth had hoped to keep his place in the touring party despite his disappointing Ashes’ series (averaging under 13), yet it seems that Hales is being given his opportunity to show his credentials at the top of the order instead.

Previously known as something of a limited overs specialist, many Cricket aficionados have been calling for his chance to come in the longer format of the game. It seems that the selectors have decided that the time is now right, after he produced a solid batting average of over 50 in the County Championship this season.

Ansari an interesting choice

Surrey all-rounder Ansari is an interesting choice. With England suffering from a paucity of quality spin-bowling options in recent seasons after the retirement of Graeme Swann, the 23-year-old left arm orthodox bowler could be the man to step in should his time in the UAE prove fruitful. Although initially likely to be the third pick behind Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, his surprise selection seems likely to ensure that he will be given some overs to prove his worth.

Ansari does have some (limited) experience in the senior national side to draw on, having contested an ODI match against Ireland earlier this year. His selection also reflects a progression through the ranks of the England cricket set-up, having represented the nation at U15, U17 and U19 levels. His promising season so far has seen him take 44 wickets and hit more than 700 runs in first-class cricket.

Taylor in, Root returns

Hales’ Nottingham teammate James Taylor has been rewarded for his recent ODI success against Australia with a Test call-up, in addition to being retained in the ODI squad.

Joe Root has been included in all three squads after his recent rest from the shorter game. However the selectors have seemingly decided that Ben Stokes would benefit from a rest from the limited overs matches, as his name only appears in the Test squad this time around.

Tough schedule

The three-Test series against Pakistan begins on October 13th in Abu Dhabi, with two further Tests at the Dubai Cricket Stadium and Sharjah CC extending into early November. Following on from that there are four ODIs and three T20 matches to be decided, in what appears to be a packed cricketing schedule.