England Reveals Test Squad Against West Indies: Ben Stokes Named As Captain In Joe Root’s Absence

The England National Cricket Selectors have released the names of the cricket squad who will be facing West Indies on Wednesday, July 8. The selectors picked a 13-man team and named Ben Stokes as the captain. The longtime vice-captain and all-rounder will replace Joe Root as England’s skipper for the match, per The Cricket Times. The selectors also named nine additional players who remain at the Ageas Bowl in an isolated environment as Test reserves.

England and West Indies will face-off for the inaugural hashtag “raisethebat” Test match at Ageas Bowl. The landmark game will mark the return of international cricket matches after the coronavirus lockdown. As The Inquisitr reported, Pakistan recently also arrived in England to prepare for their summer tour.

England will be hosting the match at Ageas Bowl in Southampton. They announced a potent 13-man lineup that is attack-heavy, with five specialist seam bowlers.

Opening Batsmen

According to a breakdown by NDTV Sports, Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, and Joe Denley will open the batting for the side. The team will miss Root’s presence on the batting front, however, Stokes is also an established batsman and has proved, time and again, that the team can count on him.

Mix Of Fast-Paced & Off-Spinners

The selectors paired two stalwart right-arm fast seam bowlers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, for a blistering fast-paced attack on the Caribbean side. The 25-year-old Jofra Archer, 31-year-old Chris Woakes, and 30-year-old Mark Wood are also fast-seam bowlers and will be supporting England’s spirited attack.

However, only three of the seam bowlers are likely to play, since Stokes is also a seam-bowling all-rounder.

England also included Joe Denly and Dom Sibley, two right-arm leg spinners, in the mix. Of course, many are looking forward to seeing off-spinner Dom Bess again. The specialist slow bowler brought South Africa to their knees during their recent tour abroad.

Sir Alec Cook Praises Stokes As Stand-In Captain

Sir Alec Cook lavished praise on the first-time captain, Stokes, in a recent interview, according to the Daily Mail.

“He will lead from the front and if there’s a situation where England need someone to step forward, it will still be him. It will be that Ian Botham-like attitude of ‘I’ll just do it’ and that’s a tremendous trait,” Sir Cook said.

“Ben is simply the most selfless cricketer I’ve ever played with. It’s all about the team with him. You will get the passion and skill and he will grow into the captaincy,” the commentator concluded.

England’s Men’s Test Squad

England announced the following squad for Wednesday: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood.

The following cricketers were included in the reserves for the Test: James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), and Olly Stone (Warwickshire).

Root To Return For Second Test After Child’s Birth

Root opted to leave the squad because of personal commitments, departing the secure bubble in Southampton this week to return to Sheffield. He did not want to miss the birth of his second child, so he made his way home. However, he will rejoin the squad ahead of the second Test at Emirates Old Trafford on July 16. Root will self-isolate for seven days before rejoining the squad.

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