New Delhi| Jagran Sports Desk: No matter what, the cricket must go on. England and West Indies cricket teams are all set to take on each other despite the coronavirus threat that still looms. The England Cricket Board (ECB) on Saturday announced a 13-men squad for the first Test which will be played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton. The Test series will start from July 8.

The 13-men squad, which will play under the leadership of Ben Stokes, includes James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes and, Mark Wood.

This time the English Board has also announced 9 reserve players namely James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone, to test its bench strength.

 

Bairstow, Ali dropped


Notably, the board has dropped wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow and all-rounder Moeen Ali this time. Bairstow had also missed the series against New Zealand and selectors had advised him to work on fitness and polish his skills.

Although, the decision to drop both the top class cricketers was hard to digest for cricket lovers as both of them have been regular part of the team. But cricket experts say that they have been kept out of the team following continuous failures during the Ashes series.

 

England's regular Test captain Joe Root, who is away from cricket citing personal reasons, will be replaced by Ben Stokes. But Root will be available for the Manchester Test.

 

England include spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach

Spinner Dom Bess has been called in place of Moeen Ali. He is among the 13-member team announced for the first test. The spinner came into limelight after he picked up a five-wicket test haul against South Africa in January this year.

Another spinner Jack Leach has also been picked up but he will be in the reserves for the opening game of the three-match series.

Posted By: Gaurav Sharma