Uncapped duo earn call-ups as England announces squad for first two Tests against West Indies

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Sunday named a 14-member squad for the opening two Tests of the upcoming three-match series against West Indies, starting on July 10 at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The squad features a blend of experience and exciting new talents.

Two players earn maiden call-ups

Two uncapped players have been handed their maiden Test call-ups: skillful seamer Dillon Pennington and wicket-keeper batter Jamie Smith. Their inclusion adds a touch of youthful exuberance to the squad.

Legendary fast bowler James Anderson finds himself in a unique position. Set to retire after the first Test at Lord’s, he will only feature in the series opener, offering fans a chance to witness him grace the iconic ground one last time in whites.

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes miss out

The notable absences of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes will raise eyebrows. With Smith included as the primary wicket-keeping option, Ollie Pope, who last donned the gloves for England in 2022, may be called upon as a backup.

Also READ: T20 World Cup 2024 – Nasser Hussain opines on allegations of India’s venue advantage over England in the semifinal

Pace powerhouse and spin conundrum

Pace bowling remains England’s strength, with the likes of Anderson, Pennington, Matthew Potts, Gus Atkinson and the returning Chris Woakes bolstering the attack. Woakes, the Player of the Series during the 2023 Ashes win, makes a welcome comeback after a year-long absence from Test cricket.

The spin department sees Shoaib Bashir as the lead spinner, with Jack Leach missing out on selection. This decision highlights England’s ongoing search for a reliable spin partner alongside their pace attack.

The three-match Test series kicks off on July 10 at Lord’s, followed by the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham (July 18-22) and the final Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham (July 26-30).

England will be looking to dominate their home turf against the West Indies, while the visitors will be aiming to cause an upset and claim a historic series win. With a blend of experience and exciting new prospects, this series promises to be an intriguing battle between bat and ball.

England squad For first two Tests against West Indies

Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson (First Test only), Gus Atkinson, Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Dillon Pennington, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Joe Root, Jamie Smith, Chris Woakes

Also READ: Ravindra Jadeja bids farewell to T20Is after India’s World Cup triumph

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