WI vs ENG: England name 12-member squad for 1st Test, Ollie Robinson ruled out

WI vs ENG: England name 12-member squad for 1st Test, Ollie Robinson ruled out

Alex Lees is set to make his Test debut as he’ll open alongside Zak Crawley.

England cricket team
England cricket team. (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

England, on Monday (March 7), named the 12-player squad for their first Test against West Indies, which gets underway on Tuesday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. As this is England’s first Test assignment since their disastrous 0-4 Ashes campaign, Joe Root’s men will have a point to prove. Notably, the national selectors have taken some major calls with veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad facing the axe for this series.

Underperforming openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed also got dropped. Coming to the squad for the first Test, Alex Lees is set to make his Test debut as he’ll open alongside Zak Crawley. A prolific run-scorer for Durham, the 28-year-old did well in the practice match against West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI, scoring 65 and 10 in two innings. Having scored 62 and 34 in the match, Crawley would also be raring to make a mark.

Joe Root to bat at number three

Skipper Joe Root will now bat at number three and he’ll have the onus to make his bat talk. With scores of 83 and 48 in the warm-up game, Dan Lawrence has piped Ollie Pope to earn the number four slot. He’ll be followed by the trio of Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, and Ben Foakes. Notably, Bairstow will play as a specialist batter while Foakes will take the wicketkeeping gloves.

Meanwhile, Ollie Robinson has been ruled out of the first Test and this is certainly a major blow for the Three Lions. England Cricket Board (ECB) in their press release mentioned that Robinson hasn’t recovered from a back spasm he sustained in the warm-up clash. Meanwhile, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, and Craig Overton are other certain starters in the line-up. As there’s no other specialist spinner in the squad, left-arm spinner Jack Leach is all but likely to pip pacer Saqib Mahmood for the final spot.

England’s squad for the Test against West Indies: Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.