Mark Stoneman only change for England

Thursday, August 17, 2017

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BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) — Mark Stoneman will be the lone change to England's side for the start of the first Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston today, captain Joe Root announced.

Surrey opener Stoneman, 30, was all set for a Test debut the moment a 13-man squad was unveiled after England dropped his struggling former Durham teammate Keaton Jennings following a recent 3-1 home Test series win over South Africa.

Stoneman apart, the team is the same that beat South Africa by 177 runs in the fourth Test at Old Trafford earlier this month.

Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes, only recently fit following a side injury, misses out on the chance to play in the first day/night Test in England, despite the match being played on his home ground.

And there was no place either for uncapped Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane.

The in-form Toby Roland- Jones kept his place as third seamer ahead of Woakes, with Stoneman the 12th man to partner Alastair Cook at the top of the order since former captain Andrew Strauss retired five years ago.

“Chris Woakes and Mason Crane are the two guys who will miss out,” Root told Sky Sports at Edgbaston yesterday.

“I think it's a great opportunity for the rest of the guys to experience a pink ball Test match for the first time and we're really excited.

”Root said Woakes needed more time to regain full match fitness.

“He will have definitely wanted to play here but with the lack of game time he's had, it felt like another week of loading up on overs making sure he's absolutely ready coming back from a serious injury is important,” star batsman Root said.

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