Stoneman earns England Test call-up as Jennings dropped

Ruben Hill
August 11, 2017

But he has failed to show the same level of consistency since, with 48 his highest score in the four-Test home series against South Africa.

England have called-up uncapped duo Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane in the 13-man squad that will feature in the first Test against West Indies at Edgbaston which will also be the inaugural day-night contest in the country.

England also called up 20-year-old Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane for the first time in the longest format after he made his Twenty20 global debut in June.

Stoneman, as widely anticipated, replaces the misfiring Keaton Jennings and will become the 12th batsman since Andrew Strauss retired five years ago to get a chance to stake his claim at the top of the order alongside the ever-reliable Cook.

By replacing Jennings, Stoneman will form another all-left-handed combination at the top of England's order with Cook in a match that starts at Birmingham's Edgbaston ground on Thursday, July 17.

"Selectors would like of offer their congratulations to Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane who thoroughly deserve their opportunity in the squad", said National Selector James Whitaker.

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

On taking the call from Whitaker, Stoneman added: "I've had a couple of phone calls before, when I missed out on selection, just to keep me informed of whereabouts I was, so when I saw Mr Whitaker's number come up on my phone I wondered if it was good or bad!".

The opening position has been a chronic headache for England since Strauss's retirement, but Stoneman should bring fresh zeal to the squad as he is arguably on the form of his life.

Former Durham left-hander Stoneman is in line to replace Jennings after averaging nearly 60 in the County Championship this season, posting three centuries and a top score of 197.

England will now find out when they play with a pink ball for the first time in a first Test of three against West Indies that will begin at 2pm next Thursday.

Leg-spinner Crane comes in for Hampshire team-mate Liam Dawson having made his England debut in their Twenty20 showdown with the Proteas in June.

Squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt); Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wkt), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), Tom Westley (Essex), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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