Mark Stoneman & Mason Crane in : England drop Keaton Jennings for West Indies Test | Sunday Observer

Mark Stoneman & Mason Crane in : England drop Keaton Jennings for West Indies Test

Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane
Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane

Surrey batsman Mark Stoneman has replaced opener Keaton Jennings in England’s 13-man squad for their day-night Test against West Indies.*

Uncapped leg-spinner Mason Crane comes in for Hampshire team-mate Liam Dawson, while fit-again all-rounder Chris Woakes replaces seamer Steven Finn.

The Edgbaston game, the first of a three-match series, is the first day-night Test to be held in England and begins on Thursday, 17 August at 14:00 BST.

Durham fast bowler Mark Wood is still ruled out because of a heel injury, while recent debutants Dawid Malan, Toby Roland-Jones and Tom Westley all retain their places in the squad. ‘A step into the unknown’ for Stoneman. Stoneman, 30, will become the 12th opening partner for Alastair Cook since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012. After leaving Durham for Surrey, he has scored 1,033 first-class runs this season, averaging 57.38 and hitting three centuries.“It’s been a long road with some ups and downs along the way, so to get the call was quite a release of emotion and something I’m very proud of,” Stoneman told BBC Radio London.

“I’ve had 10 years as a professional so you’d hope I’d have worked things out by now.“There are new challenges ahead and it’s a step into the unknown, but the experience I’ve had on various surfaces against the best Division One bowlers and some overseas players will stand me in good stead.”

England v West Indies Test series schedule

First Test: 17-21 August, Edgbaston (d/n)

Second Test: 25-29 August, Headingley

Third Test: 7-11 September, Lord’s

Durham’s Jennings, 25, is dropped after averaging 15.88 in the *3-1 series victory over South Africa, having passed 50 only once since hitting a century on his debut in India.

National selector James Whitaker said he hoped Jennings will return to his county and “recapture the form” which made him the leading run-scorer in the 2016 County Championship.

“I am sure he will find his confidence and look to score runs in the remaining matches of this season,” added Whitaker.

Haseeb Hameed, 20, was left out of the South Africa series after struggling this season and again misses out, despite an unbeaten 77 for Lancashire this week - his first half-century in first-class cricket this year.

Crane audition to return down under?

Leg-spinner Mason Crane took one wicket in two Twenty20 internationals against South Africa

Crane, 20, played two Twenty20 internationals for England against South Africa in June but has appeared in only 25 first-class games.He became the first overseas player to represent Australian state side New South Wales for 32 years when he played in their Sheffield Shield game against South Australia in March. Following the West Indies series, England will tour Australia in defence of the Ashes this winter.

“It’s great to be included in this series and hopefully there’s more to come after this,” Crane told Sky Sports. “I’m feeling like the ball is coming out nicely, and hopefully if I’m picked I can do a good job.” Crane’s inclusion also means no return for Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid, 29, who last played Test cricket against India in December.

Woakes a welcome all-round option

After recovering from a side strain sustained during the Champions Trophy, Woakes returned to take fivewickets and score 53 in Warwickshire’s victory over Middlesex on Sunday. The 28-year-old has played 17 Tests, taking 48 wickets at an average of 29.33 and scoring two half-centuries. He will compete with Roland-Jones for the third seamer’s spot, but may also

provide England another all-round option, potentially replacing Malan, with Ben Stokes or Jonny Bairstow moving up the batting order. “He was impressive in his return game at Lord’s this week and if selected in the final line-up, he will be relishing the prospect of playing on his home ground,” said Whitaker. 

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