After a lot of anticipation and excitement among cricket fans England have finally announced their squad for the first Test against West Indies which is all set to begin on the 8th of July. England have named a 13-man squad, as well as a reserves squad of nine players. Johnny Bairstow and all-rounder Moeen Ali have been left out of the squad and won’t be featuring in the opening Test against West Indies at Southampton. Post poor returns against Australia in the 2019 Ashes both of them were dropped from the Test squad. Moeen Ali had taken a break from the longest version of the game and had decided to take time away from Tests and thus was unavailable for selection for the tours of New Zealand and South Africa.

English opener Rory Burns has made a comeback after not being part of the squad for the Sri Lanka series due to an injury, Keaton Jennings and Mathew Parkinson have missed out as well. The exciting English all-rounder Sam Curran has missed out as well. He was a part of the Sri Lanka Test series but is now among the reserves. Mark Wood, one of the fastest bowlers going around has returned to the Test squad, so has the veteran James Anderson. As announced earlier, the regular Test skipper Joe Root will be missing the 1st Test as he will be away with his wife for the birth of their second child. Ben Stokes will be leading the side in his absence. Jos Buttler has been announced as the Keeper as well as the Vice Captain for the for the first Test. It would be exciting to watch what sort of team combination England go with. Will they play the extra batsman or stick to Chris Woakes instead? Only time will tell.

England Squad :

Ben Stokes [c], Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Dominic Bess, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Lewis Gregory, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Amar Virdi, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Test Reserves:

James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone

In the meanwhile, Shannon Gabriel has been added to the West Indies Test Squad after recovering from an ankle surgery. Despite not having Hetmyer and DM Bravo, West Indies still look a strong squad and are all set to face England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The first Test will mark the return of international cricket for the first time since the long COVID-19 break.

West Indies squad:

Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder (c), Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel

Reserve players:

Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican

By Arvind Krishnan

Cricket writer, statistician and analyst. An unorthodox media student, marketing runs in his blood. Sports Marketer and analyst.