England squad for opening Test against West Indies announced

England squad for opening Test against West Indies announced

Joe Root won't be a part of the game as he would be attending the birth of his child.

Olie Pope and Ben Stokes
Olie Pope and Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has named a 13-member squad for the opening Test against the West Indies, starting Wednesday, July 8 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. The three-match series is set to be the first international affair ever since the coronavirus pandemic started wreaking havoc worldwide. The Caribbean players landed on English soil last month.

The matches will be played in a bio-secure environment and as per the rules set by the ICC post COVID-19. In the meantime, the England players have already warmed themselves up after the practise match. As far as the squad is concerned, Ben Stokes will be leading the Three Lions’ unit. Joe Root, the regular Test skipper, won’t be playing the game to attend the birth of his child.

Sam Curran in England’s reserves

All eyes will be on James Anderson, who has suffered a lot of setbacks due to injuries in the last 12 months or so. He was ruled out midway from the Ashes against Australia and he couldn’t play all the games in the tour of South Africa as well. He will have Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer as his partners. Sam Curran, who recovered from the coronavirus fears, has been named in the reserves.

Mark Wood was outstanding on the South Africa tour and he would be looking to replicate something similar next time around. The series is also a chance for Jos Buttler to show his consistency in the longer format of the game. He needs to replicate his limited-overs form in the longer version as well. The left-handed Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley are the top order batsmen.

The onus will also be on Chris Woakes, who has played a crucial role in England’s Test team over the years. Archer didn’t have the greatest of Test series in New Zealand and he would be looking to make some amends. Joe Denly and Ollie Pope also add solidity to the batting unit.

Here’s England’s squad:

Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Reserves:

James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone