Stoneman, Crane included in England squad for first Test against West Indies

Stoneman is highly likely to make his Test debut next week

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Surrey opener Mark Stoneman and Hampshire spinner Mason Crane have been drafted into England’s squad for the first Test against the West Indies, which begins on August 17 at Edgbaston.

Neither Stoneman nor Crane have played Test cricket before, but there is a possibility they could feature in the first Test, which will be the first day-night Test match held in England.

Stoneman takes fellow opener Keaton Jennings’ place in the squad after the latter endured a disastrous time with the bat in the recent four-Test series against South Africa, where he scored 127 runs at an average of 15.87.

Stoneman, meanwhile, has enjoyed a lot of success in the County Championship as he has accumulated 828 runs, which includes three centuries and two fifties, in nine matches at an average of 59.14.

Crane, who replaced Liam Dawson, has taken 16 wickets in five games at an average of 40.31.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Chris Woakes is also back in the Test side after a side strain led to him missing nearly all of the Champions Trophy and the series against South Africa that followed.

“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,” national selector James Whitaker said. “The selectors would like to offer their congratulations to Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane who thoroughly deserve their opportunity in the squad.

“Keaton Jennings will return to Durham and will look to recapture the form that earned him selection in the first place. I am sure he will find his confidence and look to score runs in the remaining matches of this season.

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

“On behalf of the selectors, I would like to wish Joe Root, Trevor Bayliss and all the squad the very best for what will be an exciting series against West Indies.”

England’s squad for the first Test: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Dawid Malan, Toby Roland-Jones, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley, Chris Woakes

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