- England pick Dominic Bess over fellow off-spinner counterpart Jack Leach
- 9-reserves also called as back-ups
- Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali left out of either lists
All-rounder Ben Stokes will debut as the England captain at Southampton. He will stand-in for Joe Root who is away to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. Stokes will become the 81st Englishman and only the 2nd all-rounder to captain England in a Test match.
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.
England Cricket: The Squad Combination
It will be interesting to see how the England pace bowling attack shapes up this summer. Out of action since January, the experiences of James Anderson and Stuart Broad combined with the exuberant youth of Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood will all be keen on getting wickets. Sam Curran, who may also have been in contention before falling ill during a practice match this week, is among the reserves.
Dominic Bess, the off-spinner who was impressive in his last Test series against South Africa also managed to retain his place in the squad.
The England batting will hold mainstay on Rory Burns, Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley’s shoulders while Stokes and Buttler complete a formidable middle order. Joe Denly has also managed to book a place in the squad over the uncapped Dan Lawrence after his impressive 58 in the practice game for Stokes XI vs Buttler XI. He might yet need to leave a significant impact to continue playing for the Lions in the remainder of the series.
Meanwhile, second-choice keeper Ben Foakes, bowlers Craig Overton, Saqib Mahmood, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone and batting covers in form of the uncapped duo of James Bracely and Lawrence complete the reserves list.
A loss of recent form adding to the insignificant contributions in the practice match led to the ouster of Bairstow and Moeen Ali from either lists. While the former has lost his place in the Test side since The Ashes last year, Moeen made himself unavailable for selection in England’s three previous tours.
What can we Expect?
The current extraordinary condition forced England to prepare a bigger squad than they would in a usual tour. The result of which has helped many English players gain some practice and momentum going into the game against Windies. Though the Windies on most days, have not performed to their best, it will be foolish to not expect a fightback.
The able leadership of Jason Holder has remoulded the Windies squad into good in recent years. England will therefore need to have their plans in place and would look to attack right from the word go.