England pick Bess as spinner for first test vs West Indies

05 Juillet, 2020, 04:55 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • England v West Indies: Dom Bess in squad, Jack Leach misses out

Spinner Dom Bess was named in England's 13-man squad for the first Test against West Indies and there was no place for Moeen Ali among nine reserves, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Saturday. The second and third Test will be held in Manchester (July 16-20 and July 24-28).

The indication of this move was clear when Foakes was handed the gloves for the Ben Stokes XI that took on Jos Buttler XI in a three-day intra-squad match.

West Indies officially added Shannon Gabriel to their squad on Thursday evening, and he looks set to go straight into the side that plays at the Ageas Bowl on July 8.

But perhaps the most visible change will be the lack of any spectators. Stokes will be the 81st England player to be the captain of England in Tests.

Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt insisted a $3 million loan from the European Central Bank was a "helping hand" at a time of economic crisis rather than a condition of touring England.

What's more, the players in West Indies' middle order that a spinner may well be relied upon to dismiss have substantially better records against offspinners than slow left-armers, in particular the engine room of Jason Holder, Shai Hope and Shane Dowrich.

"I think we were trying to focus on the cricket but I don't know how you deal with those situations", Pope said of Curran's health scare.

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And Pope maintained that he had few qualms about which type of surface he played on, saying that it was up to England's batsmen to adapt. "Even if there's not a single person in the crowd it's still what we all dreamed of doing", said Pope.

"When we have crowds and the Barmy Army are here it is awesome but we'll still be playing Test cricket and it's still the pinnacle".

Players will be barred from using saliva to shine the ball, although overhead conditions could still mean there's swing for the faster bowlers.

In England, in the Premier League, footballers also have Black Lives Matter stickers on their shirts and take a knee as a gesture for the movement before the game kicks off.

The two outfits square off in the first top-level cricket match in months, after matches were suspended due to the pandemic outbreak earlier in the year.

Yet concerns about the alterations are outweighed by a sense of relief that the series is still going ahead.

The squad match at the end of the week involved teams captained by Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.

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