England have selected their “strongest possible squad” for the opening two Tests against India, the first of which starts at Trent Bridge on August 4.

Chris Silverwood’s side have been concentrating on white-ball cricket in recent weeks, beating both Sri Lanka and Pakistan in T20s and ODIs.

A switch to the longest format is now the focus with matches to be played at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Headingley, the Oval and Old Trafford.

Silverwood has named his 17-man squad for the matches in Nottingham and NW8 with Ben Stokes back in the Test fold following his finger injury, while seamer Ollie Robinson has also been recalled.

Joe Root (pictured) will captain a side that could feature Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran. However, neither Jofra Archer nor Chris Woakes will play in the opening two matches.

Archer is still managing an elbow injury, while Woakes has a heel problem that the medical team hope will heal in time to feature later in the series.

England and India have already met this year, with the latter winning the pair’s Test series 3-1 before completing the job in both the ODI and T20 series.

Both teams will potentially have one eye on the T20 World Cup (India 5/2, England 3/1 – Outright Betting) later in the year but Silverwood’s focus, for now, seems to be on red-ball cricket.

The England coach believes he has selected his best possible squad for the first two Tests against a nation he admits are a “quality team”.

“A home Test series against India is one of the most anticipated red-ball series and this promises to be an outstanding five Tests,” he said.

“India are a quality team who have shown their ability to get results away from home. We are expecting a highly competitive series and have selected our strongest possible squad.”

England are also in Ashes action later in the year and are 3/1 to win series Down Under, with Australia 4/9 and a drawn series 6/1.

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