England names its first team for the Test match against West Indies, in which spinner Dom Bess was named in the 13-man’s squad while there was no place for Moeen Ali among the nine reserves, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stated on Sunday.
All-rounder Ben Stokes will lead the Englishmen for the first time as Joe Root steps back to attend childbirth. Root’s wife Carrie is expecting their second child and the skipper would like to stay back with the family. Once Root leave the hospital, he will have to observe a seven-day isolation before he can join the team back.
Moeen announced in September that he would like to take a little break from Test cricket after losing out on a central contract for the longest format, but, he was included in the 30-man training group.
However, ECB opted to go ahead with off-spinner Bess, who took his first five-wicket test haul against South Africa in January. Fellow spinner Jack Leach is in the reserves for the opening of the three-match series. All-rounder Sam Curran, who was cleared to resume training after testing negative for Covid-19, was also placed on stand-by.
To be commenced on July 8, the first England versus West Indies Test will be played in Ageas Bowl in Southampton in a bio-bubble environment, keeping the precautionary measures for the ongoing pandemic outburst in mind. The second and third Tests will be played in Manchester.
England verses West Indies marks the resumption of cricket after almost four months due to the coronavirus pandemic outburst. Cricket, in many other countries, have been put on hold for the same reason.
England squad: Ben Stokes (captain), 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.
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