The most notable of those who were overlooked were Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali, senior members of the English white ball teams, but overlooked for testing. Bairstow had been a competitor to enter the side in the absence of Joe Root, the England test captain who misses the match to witness the birth of his child, but only managed scores 11 and 39 during the three hot days. to the top; James Bracey and Dan Lawrence, both of whom have attracted attention for half a century, have been selected as reserve drummers.
Dom Bess remains at the head of the peloton among the English spinners, keeping Jack Leach, who is among the reserves, and Moeen. Bess claimed 3 for 72 when she went out for Team Buttler, while Leach and Moeen went without a wicket for Team Stokes in the first innings and then conceded six-pointers in the second.
With Root having already left camp and Ben Stokes in the running to become the 81st captain of the England team, the selectors have kept familiar names for the first of three matches in three weeks against the West Indies. Rory Burns returns, having suffered ankle and ligament damage while playing football in South Africa, and seems ready to open alongside Dom Sibley, with Zak Crawley descending to No. 3 and Denly alternate for Root at No. 4.
Ollie Pope and Stokes will complete the lineup, while Jos Buttler retains the gloves, as hinted by head coach Chris Silverwood during the week, with Ben Foakes retained as backup.
In the bowling department, England has Archer and Wood available to provide additional rhythm – and although there may be a temptation to deploy them together in Test cricket for the first time, Silverwood has already hinted that they will likely be rotated to protect both from wear and tear.
Although Broad went without a wicket during the warm-up of Ageas Bowl, he was the automatic choice to associate Anderson with the new ball – currently on a series of 51 consecutive home test appearances – but Woakes will also have the chance to defend his case.
With the likelihood that England will have to run their seamers regularly to keep them cool – there is only a three-day gap between tests – the reserves include two uncapped rapids with Saqib Mahmood and Ollie Robinson, alongside from Craig Overton and Olly Stones, who stays despite not being fit enough to play in the warm-up game due to hamstring problems.
English workforce for the first test:Ben Stokes (capt), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Reservations: James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone