England might turn to Mark Stoneman to deal with opening conundrum

Alex Hales batting at number 5 for England

Mark Stoneman
Mark Stoneman. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Even after a thrashing series victory against South Africa, England faces opening issues with Keaton Jennings’ horrific form in the recent series. If reports are to be believed, the management may turn to Mark Stoneman to deal with the opening conundrum in the English side, looking at the upcoming series against Australia Down Under for retaining the urn.

After the retirement of current England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Director Andrew Strauss, England has tried out as many as 12 pairs with former captain Alastair Cook being the only constant. The selectors meet today to pick the squad for forthcoming West Indies series and would face the dilemma of their top order problems even after beating South Africa convincingly.


Points of discussion to pick up squad

It has become very difficult for Jennings to feature in the squad for the West Indies with a paltry average of 15.87 in the recently concluded series. Which gives way for Surrey opener Mark Stoneman, even though coaches have been sceptical about his place at the international level. Even after Haseeb Hameed return to form with his 77 for Lancashire, the Board does not want to rush him into the scheme of things. This means that Mark Stoneman could well feature in the squad for West Indies and also the flight to Australia.

The other point of discussion would be to include Dawid Malan in the squad who just played a couple of games in the South Africa Series. Alex Hales batting at number 5 will be another tempting agenda of discussion, given the form he is in currently. After sustaining an injury in the Champions Trophy, Chris Woakes clinched a five wicket haul against Middlesex for Warwickshire. However, according to Daily Mail, the selectors have to be convinced about his fitness before giving him go.

Mason Crane will be one of three young spinners along with Somerset’s Jack Leach and Dom Bess who will practise at Edgbaston. The management is determined for Crane to play in at least one of the three Tests with a view to taking him to Australia.