HARRY BROOK could still be part of England’s World Cup title defence in India later this year, skipper Jos Buttler said.
With Ben Stokes back in the squad after reversing his retirement from the one-day format, England did not pick Brook in the original 15-member squad for the 50-overs showpiece event.
But the 24-year-old – whose explosive batting was in full display last Tuesday (22) when he smashed a 41-ball century in The Hundred competition – is set to travel to India as a reserve player. England can change their provisional squad until September 28.
“There’s still a long time before everyone’s meant to get on the plane so we’ll wait and see what happens,” Buttler said last Friday (25).
“Harry’s a fantastic player and we saw what he can do the other night. It’s not a surprise, we know what a brilliant player he is. He’s just the unfortunate one at the moment to not be in that squad. Ben Stokes coming back and being available just as a batter changes the dynamic a little bit.”
A key architect of England’s World Cup triumphs in 2019 (ODI) and 2022 (T20), Test captain Stokes announced his shock ODI retirement in July last year, citing his workload. But he reversed course last month and was picked for the upcoming home series against New Zealand.
The talismanic allrounder, who has been grappling with a troublesome knee of late, will play as a specialist batter.
“Ben’s a fantastic player to be able to welcome back,” Buttler said. “It’s a tough selection – there have been players performing really well over a period of time.”
England will begin their title defence against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 5 in a rematch of the 2019 final.