England v West Indies, 1st Investec Test, Edgbaston August 10, 2017

Stoneman, Crane earn maiden Test squad call-ups

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 01:22
'Hasn't quite sunk in yet' - Stoneman

Mark Stoneman, the Surrey opening batsman, is set to make his Test debut against a pink ball next week, after being named in a 13-man England squad for the first Test against West Indies at Edgbaston, the first day-night Test to be staged in this country.

Also in the frame for a debut is the Hampshire legspinner, Mason Crane, who displayed his composure in the T20 series against South Africa in June, and, at the age of 20, has been handed an opportunity to press for a place on this winter's Ashes tour. He replaces his county team-mate, Liam Dawson, who featured in the first two Tests against South Africa, but was outshined in the spin-bowling stakes by Moeen Ali's 25-wicket haul.

Meanwhile, Chris Woakes, England's swing-bowling allrounder, could be selected to make his return to international cricket in front of his Warwickshire home crowd, after recovering from the side strain that caused his withdrawal from England's Champions Trophy campaign in June.

Woakes steps into the squad in place of Middlesex's Steven Finn, having played a significant allround role for Warwickshire on his comeback to the County Championship last week. He took five wickets in the match against the champions, Middlesex, including 3 for 38 in the decisive second innings, and chipped in with a half-century as well, to help his struggling team to their first championship victory of the season.

Stoneman, however, is at this stage the only certainty for a call-up, following Keaton Jennings' struggles to find any form as Alastair Cook's partner at the top of the order. After making a century in his maiden Test innings against India in Mumbai, Jennings passed fifty just once in 11 subsequent innings, and averaged 15.87 in four Tests against South Africa with a top score of 48.

Stoneman, who is set to become Cook's 12th opening partner since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012, has certainly earned his call-up. His move from Durham to Surrey this season has earned him 1,033 runs in first-class cricket, including a top score of 197 and an average of 57.38 with three centuries.

"After an excellent series victory over South Africa, our first against them on home soil since 1998, we now look forward to building on our success against the West Indies," James Whitaker, the National Selector, said.

"The selectors would like to offer their congratulations to Mark Stoneman and Mason Crane who thoroughly deserve their opportunity in the squad.

"Keaton Jennings will return to Durham and will look to recapture the form that earned him selection in the first place. I am sure he will find his confidence and look to score runs in the remaining matches of this season.

"Chris Woakes has proved his fitness and returns to the squad having missed most of the summer through injury. 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.

"On behalf of the selectors, I would like to wish Joe Root, Trevor Bayliss and all the squad the very best for what will be an exciting series against West Indies."

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