Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Stoneman Named as New Opener

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Stoneman Named as New Opener

Article excerpt

ENGLAND Test captain Joe Root has announced opening batsman Mark Stoneman will make his debut against West Indies at Edgbaston.

Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes and 20-year-old leg break bowler Mason Crane, both named in a 13-man squad, are left out for the first pink ball day-night Test in this country.

Pace bowler Toby Roland-Jones keeps his place in Root's side with Surrey opener Stoneman becoming the latest choice to partner Alastair Cook at the top of the innings.

Root told Sky Sports HQ: "Chris Woakes and Mason Crane are the two guys who will miss out. 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 admitted Woakes will feel unfortunate to miss out playing for England at his home ground, but stressed that the 28-year-old needs more recovery time.

"He (Woakes) 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.

"That's where we're at at the minute and I think Toby (Roland-Jones) deserves his opportunity."

Stoneman is the 12th new opening partner England have picked alongside Alastair Cook since the retirement of Andrew Strauss five years ago. At 30, he is curiously long in the tooth for a debutant too.

"He's obviously got a huge amount of runs under this belt, this season in particular, and in previous seasons as well.

"He's got a wellrounded game, he's a bit more experienced having played a lot of county cricket and I'm excited to see him hopefully take his opportunity," Root said. …

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