Mark Stoneman replaces Jennings in England squad for West Indies Tests

Barsaba Taglieri
Agosto 10, 2017

Mark Stoneman, the Surrey opening batsman, is set to make his Test debut against a pink ball next week, after being named in a 13-man England squad for the first Test against West Indies at Edgbaston, the first day-night Test to be staged in this country.

Crane is a much more imaginative choice by the selectors but he owes his inclusion now in part to the return of Chris Woakes, who replaces Steven Finn in the squad after finally recovering from a serious side strain.

The South African-born opening batsman managed just 127 runs in his eight innings against the Proteas and failed to register a single half-century, finding himself below even fast bowler Toby Roland-Jones in the series batting averages.

The return of Woakes, who took five wickets in the match and made a half-century on his championship return against Middlesex this week, is good news for England as he has been in the previous year one of their most consistent performers.

Stoneman, the left-hander who has struck three centuries and averaged 59 in first-class cricket since moving from Durham to Surrey in the winter, is guaranteed to make his debut in place of Jennings who, for the promise shown with a century on debut in Mumbai last winter, has averaged 15 in his first home Test summer and suffered some repetitive dismissals.

But he made a return to the County Championship earlier this week, where he took five wickets in the match and scored 53 in the second innings as Warwickshire beat Middlesex at Lord's.

"After an excellent series victory over South Africa, our first against them on home soil since 1998, we now look forward to building on our success against the West Indies", James Whitaker, the National Selector, said.

The former England batsman had some words of consolation for Jennings, saying: "Keaton Jennings will return to Durham and will look to recapture the form that earned him selection in the first place".

"Selectors would like to offer their congratulations to Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane who thoroughly deserve their opportunity in the squad", England selector James Whitaker said in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement.

'Chris Woakes has proved his fitness and returns to the squad having missed most of the summer through injury.

Stoneman, on the other hand, should get his chance to play as a replacement for former Durham teammate Keaton Jennings.

Joe Root conceded after his first series win as captain that plans for this winter's defence of the Ashes in Australia would be a consideration against West Indies (the world's ninth-ranked side) and thus Stoneman has a golden chance to secure a spot.

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