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Friday, July 23, 2021

Joe Root returns to lead England in 2nd Test; James Anderson, Mark Wood out

Joe Denly, James Anderson and Mark Wood are out of the squad that England fielded in the 1st Test, with Joe Root, Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson coming in.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: July 15, 2020 9:06:42 pm
England will play the first of their two practice matches from Saturday before the first test in Galle from March 19 while Colombo hosts the second test from March 27. Joe Root will be returning to the England side after being away to be present for the birth of his child. (Twitter/EnglandCricket)

Joe Root, speaking at the pre-match press conference before the start of the 2nd Test vs West Indies, said that Joe Denly will sit out of the match and that Zak Crawley will be batting at number 3 for England.

“It’s never an easy decision, having to leave someone out. Denly has done a brilliant job over a period of time,” Root said.

As for the bowling attack, James Anderson and Mark Wood have been ‘rested’, with Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson coming into the 13-man squad for the Test. Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes are the two players in the squad who did not play in the 1st Test.

England 13-man squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

Denly, who had scores of 18 and 29 in the 1st Test, faced the axe for throwing away a good start once again in Southampton. Over his Test career, he has had a highest score of 94 and a batting average of 29.53. He has not passed 38 in his past eight innings, even though he has faced a lot of balls in his innings.

Zak Crawley, 22, who top-scored for England in last week’s Test with a second-innings 76, will be batting one position above him, Root said.

Root will be returning to the England side after being on leave to be present for the birth of his child during the 1st Test. England are down 1-0 in the series after losing last week’s Test by 4 wickets.

READ | The paradox of being Jermaine Blackwood

West Indies have not won an away Test series against teams other than Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the past 25 years.

Visiting skipper Jason Holder said, “There’s no pressure on us. We don’t get caught up in the off-field noise. The series is still wide open. There are 10 days of cricket left. England are a very good team, they have some world-class players. We’ve got our work cut out to win another game.”

Holder confirmed there are no injury worries for his side, with opener John Campbell having recovered from an injured toe.

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