England have selected Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson to play in his first test match on home soil when the series against South Africa starts at Lord’s on Thursday, said captain Joe Root.
The 27-year-old all-rounder made his England debut against India in Chennai last December and joins Worcestershire’s Moeen Ali in an England team which will feature two spinners in a Lord’s Test for the first time since 1993.
Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones is the player left out of the 12-man squad to accommodate Dawson, a right-handed batsman and left-arm spinner.
“Liam is going to play,” Root said on Wednesday ahead of his first test since he succeeded Alastair Cook as England captain in February.
The four-match series starts at Lord’s on Thursday before the teams meet at Trent Bridge, The Oval and Old Trafford.