Stoneman and Crane make England squad to play West Indies

Root salutes versatile Crane

Stoneman and Crane make England squad to play West Indies

The leg-spinner has always been seen as the future of England's spin options but the resurgence of Moeen Ali, man of the series against South Africa, means his Test debut may be further away than first thought.

The duo will take the place of Keaton Jennings and Liam Dawson in the squad that featured in the recently concluded series against South Africa which England went on to win 3-1.

"I've had 10 years as a professional so I'd hope I have worked things out by now".

National selector James Whitaker said he hoped Jennings will return to his county and "recapture the form" which made him the leading run-scorer in the 2016 County Championship.

The Edgbaston game, the first of a three-match series, is the first day-night Test to be held in England and begins on Thursday, 17 August at 14:00 BST. But it is a definite signal that England's selectors want to take Crane to Australia in their Ashes squad because he is such a promising legspinner that when he was playing grade cricket in Sydney last winter, he was chosen to represent New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match, with a little success.

"It's great to be included in this series and hopefully there's more to come after this", Crane told Sky Sports.

However, England's new-found confidence in picking two spinners - as they did at Lord's - means Crane could be in line for a trip to Australia this winter, especially if he is given a chance against the West Indies at some point.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Chris Woakes is also back in the Test side after a side strain led to him missing almost all of the Champions Trophy and the series against South Africa that followed.

He is not certain to play at Edgbaston, where the timing and pink ball is likely to favour the seamers, and his first-class record is modest - 70 first-class wickets at nearly 42 runs each. He was impressive in his return game at Lord's this week and if selected in the final line-up, he will be relishing the prospect of playing on his home ground.

Keaton Jennings will be very disappointed, although it does open up a can of worms in that he had the hardest of the opponents in South Africa, who have a really decent pace attack.

Jennings was dropped from the England squad to face the West Indies in a day/night Test at Edgbaston later this month.

England probably feel he needs a bit of time to get rhythm and form back in county cricket and Stoneman is the in-form opener.

England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Dawid Malan, Toby Roland-Jones, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley, Chris Woakes.

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