Stoneman gets England call for Windies opener as Jennings dropped

Struggling Durham opener Jennings only averaged 15.87 in eight innings during England's recent 3-1 series win over his native South Africa. — AFP/File

LONDON: Mark Stoneman is set to make his England debut in next week’s day/night first Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston after being included in a 13-man squad announced Thursday from which Keaton Jennings was dropped.

Struggling Durham opener Jennings only averaged 15.87 in eight innings during England’s recent 3-1 series win over his native South Africa, which concluded with a 177-run victory in the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Monday.

Now Surrey batsman Stoneman, a former Durham team-mate of Jennings, is in line to become Alastair Cook’s 12th opening partner since the retirement of former captain Andrew Strauss in 2012.

The 30-year-old Stoneman has scored 1,000 runs in first-class cricket this season, including a highest score of 197, while averaging 58.82 with three centuries.

By replacing Jennings, Stoneman will form another all-left-handed combination at the top of England’s order with Cook.

Meanwhile Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane has been called into a Test squad for the first time having also impressed in England’s first-class County Championship this season.

Fit again pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes replaces Steven Finn in a squad for a match on his Warwickshire home ground that will be the first day/night Test ever staged in England.

The fixture, which starts on Thursday, August 17, is the first of a three-Test series that continues at Headingley and concludes at Lord’s.

England squad for the first Test against the West Indies:

Alastair Cook (Essex), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), Tom Westley (Essex), Joe Root (Yorkshire, capt), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire, wkt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mason Crane (Hampshire)



Aug 17-21: England v West Indies, 1st Test, Edgbaston

Aug 25-29: England v West Indies, 2nd Test, Headingley

Sep 07-11: England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Lord’s