Ben Stokes to lead England for 1st Test against West Indies; Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow miss out

India Today Web Desk


England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Saturday announced a 13-man squad for the first Test against West Indies at The Ageas Bowl.

Dom Bess has been named as England’s sole spinner in the squad whereas wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow and all-rounder Moeen Ali have missed out.

Moeen announced in September he was taking a break from test cricket after losing out on a central contract for the longest format but he was included in a 30-man training group.

But the ECB opted to go with off-spinner Bess, who grabbed his first five-wicket Test haul against South Africa in January.

ECB also named nine reserves for the Test match which will mark the resumption of international cricket after long three months break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Joe Denly will be the top four in the absence of Joe Root, who misses out for the birth of his second child.

England have named five seamers, in addition to Stokes, with James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes vying for places in the starting XI against West Indies.

England squad: Ben Stokes (capt), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone.

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