Monday, 23 October, 2017

Stoneman and Crane make England squad to play West Indies

Mason Crane GETTYMason Crane has been called up to the England squad for the first time
Damon Campbell | 12 August, 2017, 00:31

Surrey opener Stoneman, who has scored three centuries and averages 59.14 in this season's County Championship, has been called up at the expense of Keaton Jennings after he struggled against South Africa, scoring just 127 runs in eight innings.

Surrey batsman Stoneman is set to debut at Edgbaston and the 30-year-old will become former captain Alastair Cook's 12th opening partner since the 2012 retirement of Andrew Strauss.

"I've had 10 years as a professional so I'd hope I have worked things out by now".

"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.

"I am sure he will find his confidence and look to score runs in the remaining matches of this season", added Whitaker.

Neither Stoneman nor Crane have played Test cricket before, but there is a possibility they could feature in the first Test, which will be the first day-night Test match held in England.

He became the first overseas player to represent Australian state side New South Wales for 32 years when he played in their Sheffield Shield game against South Australia in March.

"It's great to be included in this series and hopefully there's more to come after this", Crane told Sky Sports.

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I don't envy him starting with a day-night Test - West Indies, I think, will be less powerful then South Africa, but the ball will nip around under the lights.

Tom Westley, number 679, retains his place in the squad while Chris Woakes returns to the squad and could displace the unfortunate Toby Roland-Jones, who has impressed in his brief opportunity as an worldwide seamer.

Keaton Jennings will be very disappointed, although it does open up a can of worms in that he had the hardest of the opponents in South Africa, who have a really decent pace attack.

And while his exclusion does not signal the end of the 25-year-old's Test career, it means he will more than likely not make the trip to Australia this winter.

With Mark Stoneman coming in against West Indies, what will we learn?

Crane replaces Dawson as the second spinner in England's squad, but there is little chance of him playing in England's first day/night Test when the pink ball is expected to zip around for the seamers at twilight.

SQUAD: Root (capt), Ali, Anderson, Bairstow, Broad, Cook, Crane, Malan, Roland-Jones, Stokes, Stoneman, Westley, Woakes.

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