Home Cricket International Cricket Stoneman gets nod but Woakes must wait

Stoneman gets nod but Woakes must wait

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Mark Stoneman will debut against the pink Dukes ball at Edgbaston // Getty
 

A Test debut under lights for latest in England’s search for a regular opener but star allrounder Chris Woakes can’t win back his spot.

England captain Joe Root has confirmed Mark Stoneman will make his Test debut in the day-night Test against the West Indies on Thursday, but there is no spot for returning allrounder Chris Woakes.

Surrey batsman Stoneman’s inclusion is the only change to the England XI that completed a 3-1 series victory against South Africa last week.

He comes into the side for Keaton Jennings, the South Africa born opener discarded after averaging just 15.87 across the four-Test series.

The left-handed Stoneman will become the 12th batsman tried as an England opening partner for Alastair Cook since former captain Andrew Strauss retired five years ago.

With a tour of Australia on the horizon, Woakes wished Stoneman well by saying: “It is the last Test series before the Ashes, and I hope he can come in score some runs for himself and for the team.

“I have played a lot against Mark and I have always found him difficult to bowl to.

“He hits the bad ball for four – which is always frustrating for a bowler – and he’s in good form.”

England seamer Toby Roland-Jones retained his spot in the side to end Warwickshire seamer Woakes’s dream of featuring in the first day-night Test at his home venue of Edgbaston.

Woakes had become a mainstay in all three international formats for England, but a side strain suffered barely two overs into their Champions Trophy opener against Bangladesh at The Oval in June kept him out of action for 11 weeks.

Since his injury, Woakes has managed one first-class match.

His five-wicket haul and a second-innings fifty during Warwickshire’s 190-run County Championship win against defending champions Middlesex at Lord’s led to an England recall.

“When you’re injured there’s always someone knocking on the door ready to take your place,” Woakes told reporters at Birmingham’s Edgbaston on Tuesday.

“When you get injured that’s frustrating for you and you have to prove yourself again.

Born and bred in Birmingham, Woakes expects the crowd to be in full voice for a landmark fixture.

“Whenever you play at Edgbaston it’s always brilliant,” Woakes said.

“The atmosphere will be fantastic, and it will be exciting for the players to be involved with that.”

England XI: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Toby Roland-Jones, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

West Indies squad: Jason Holder(c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.