National selector Ed Smith says Jonny Bairstow understands why he has not been included in the England squad for the first half of their Test series against India.

Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood have been rested for the opening two matches of a series that gets underway at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on February 5.

Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Rory Burns return, while Ollie Pope will be added to a 16-man squad when he has fully recovered from a shoulder operation.

The squad was named on the eve of a second Test versus Sri Lanka which England will start looking to secure a 2-0 series whitewash.

Batsman Bairstow made 47 and an unbeaten 35 in a seven-wicket win for the tourists in Galle last week after being recalled for a first Test appearance since facing South Africa at the end of 2019.

Smith explained that the decision to omit Bairstow was taken to ensure he has enough time off with such a hectic schedule to come this year, including the T20 World Cup in India.

"I spoke at length to Jonny yesterday, as well as at Loughborough before the Sri Lankan tour," Smith said.

"[I said to Bairstow he has] a fantastic opportunity coming up in Sri Lanka, where we expect you to get game time. But at some point, as is the case with the other multi-format players, you're going to need your rest too, and he completely understands that and endorses it."

Smith added: "Whenever you take rest there's always a downside. These guys, Jonny included, love playing for England, but they also understand that they need their rest, so there's always two sides to it.

"But it felt right for Jonny to take his break now, because obviously he's a key part of the white-ball set-up, so that he can continue on with that when he comes back into the Test squad, as we build towards a very important cycle in the T20s, with the World Cup in the autumn."

Smith was impressed with the impact Bairstow made on his return in the longest format.

"It was great to see Jonny looking very focused and clear in Test cricket. He was given lots of visibility ahead of time that he would be likely to bat three, playing as a batsman," he said.

"But over the long term, as I've said many times, I think Jonny is a highly talented player, and we know he brings a lot to the party and can play a number of different roles. That remains the case."

 

England squad for first two Tests against India: 

Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

Reserves:

James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.

Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood have not been included in the England squad for the opening two Tests against India.

Batsman Bairstow, all-rounder Curran and paceman Wood have been rested and will fly home after the ongoing Test series in Sri Lanka along with quick Craig Overton.

Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Rory Burns are back in the squad for a series that starts at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on February 5.

Fast bowler Archer and all-rounder Stokes did not travel to Sri Lanka as they were given a break, while opening batsman Burns stayed at home for the birth of his first child.

Batsman Ollie Pope will fly out to India and be added to a 16-man squad when he has fully recovered from a shoulder operation.

The national selectors have also named six travelling reserves, three of which are spinners, for the series against an India side on a high from a dramatic 2-1 victory in Australia.

 

England squad for first two Tests against India: 

Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

Reserves:

James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.

England wrapped up a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first Test in Galle on Monday.

Jonny Bairstow (35 not out) and Dan Lawrence (unbeaten 21) saw the tourists past their target of 74 early on day five after a brief top-order scare on Sunday.

The victory saw England extend their unbeaten streak against Sri Lanka in Tests to seven matches (W6 D1).

It was a win set up by Dom Bess' five-for in the first innings and Joe Root's 228, while Jack Leach took 5-122 in the second innings.

Lawrence survived a couple of lbw shouts on the final day, including a review, but his unbroken 62-run fourth-wicket stand with Bairstow saw England to victory.

The second and final Test begins on Friday.

Dom Bess claimed a five-wicket haul as England seized immediate control of the first Test against Sri Lanka, skittling their hosts for 135 before reaching 127-2 in reply.

Captain Joe Root and the recalled Jonny Bairstow combined to put on an unbroken third-wicket partnership worth 110 in the final session, the duo finishing unbeaten on 66 and 47 respectively as the tourists dominated the opening day of the series.

As for Sri Lanka, their problems started prior to the game getting underway as skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was ruled out due to a fractured thumb. 

Stuart Broad (3-20) claimed two early wickets as Sri Lanka were reduced to 25-3; they never recovered and were bowled out for the lowest first-innings score in a Test staged at Galle International Stadium.

Angelo Mathews - back in the Sri Lanka XI - combined with stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal to put on 56 for the fourth wicket, but that was the only partnership of real note in an innings that spanned a mere 46.1 overs. 

Chandimal top-scored with 28 before he was superbly caught in the covers by Sam Curran off Jack Leach (1-55), leaving the score at 81-5 early in the afternoon session. 

Niroshan Dickwella (12) chopped a long hop from Bess to backward point, while the off-spinner also benefited from a lucky deflection off short leg Bairstow - who took the full brunt of a sweep shot - that allowed wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to catch Dasun Shanaka (23). 

Dilruwan Perera fell quickly for a duck and, after a Leach finger tip saw Lasith Embuldeniya run out at the non-striker's end, Bess bowled PWH de Silva to complete his second five-wicket haul in Tests. 

England's reply stuttered early as opening pair Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley fell cheaply, both dismissed by left-arm spinner Embuldeniya to leave the score at 17-2. 

However, Bairstow – who hit a century when batting at number three in England's previous Test on Sri Lankan soil, back in 2018 – capitalised on his opportunity back in a team minus top-order regulars Rory Burns and Ben Stokes.

Root had needed a review to overturn an lbw decision against him on 20, but otherwise made serene progress to a half-century that means his team trail by just eight runs heading into Friday's action.

Sri Lanka and England both have plenty to ponder over team selection as they prepare to finally face each other in Test action again. 

The nations were due to meet in March 2020, only for their two-match series to be postponed amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic. England were playing a tour game in Colombo at the time when the decision was taken to cut short the trip and head home. 

They have returned 10 months later for a rearranged tour, with the ongoing COVID-19 situation seeing them hosted in a bio-secure bubble for both games in Galle. 

However, Moeen Ali will miss the first Test – and possibly the next one that follows – after a positive test result upon arrival. Chris Woakes had to self-isolate having been considered a close contact, so missed out on England's only warm-up game. 

Moeen was joint-leading wicket-taker with fellow spinner Jack Leach - taking 18 wickets apiece - when England swept the hosts 3-0 on spin-friendly pitches when visiting Sri Lanka in late 2018, though captain Joe Root is aware the surfaces may not be the same now.

"We are very aware that the conditions might be very different to the last time we played here," Root told the media.

"We are not going to have too many preconceived ideas about what we are going to come up against. It's quite dangerous and lazy to walk into a series like that." 

The tourists are without Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes – who are both rested with a long tour to India to follow immediately afterwards – while opening batsman Rory Burns has remained in England for the birth of his first child. 

As for the hosts, a recent 2-0 Test series defeat in South Africa came at a cost in terms of injuries. Dhananjaya de Silva and Kasun Rajitha are both sidelined, plus Oshada Fernando has had no match practice after a spell out of action. 

However, there is good news over the fitness of batsman Dinesh Chandimal – who missed the second Test against the Proteas – and seamer Suranga Lakmal, plus former captain Angelo Mathews is back as Sri Lanka aim for a first Test win over their opponents since a famous triumph at Headingley in 2014. 


JONNY BE GOOD AGAIN?

With holes to fill in the batting order due to key absences, England are set to hand a debut to Dan Lawrence and recall Jonny Bairstow, who appears to be the choice to bat at number three with Zak Crawley moving up to open.

Bairstow made a century at that position in the previous Test against Sri Lanka, the third time in four first-innings knocks he has reached three figures against them. However, he has not played in the format since 2019, having lost his place after averaging 18.6 in 19 innings during that year.

Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes played a starring role for England in Sri Lanka last time, averaging 69.25 with the bat, but looks set to miss out on the final XI.

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne's century in the second Test against South Africa was one of few positives for Sri Lanka in a 10-wicket defeat in Johannesburg to start the new year.

The opening batsman has averaged 66 on home soil in Tests since 2018 (14 innings), though none of his 10 career hundreds have come against England. 

Having Mathews back should ease some of the run-scoring burden, too. The 33-year-old may not contribute much with the ball these days but does average 45.31 with the bat in Tests. He will go into the opening game needing just 19 more runs to reach 6,000 in the format.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- England have won their previous two bilateral Test series against Sri Lanka; they are attempting to record three successive victories against them for the first time.
- Sri Lanka come into the series having only mustered one win in their past seven Test matches (D2 L4); they have just suffered a 2-0 series defeat against the Proteas, losing the opener by an innings margin before slumping to a 10-wicket loss in the second match of the series in South Africa.
- The hosts have only lost once in five Test matches against England at Galle International Stadium (W2 D2). However, the most recent meeting between the sides at the venue was won by the tourists.
- Sri Lanka have managed to get the umpire's decision overturned in 23 per cent of their referrals in Tests since the start of 2019. Only Australia (22 per cent) have a lower rate; England's record stands at 31 per cent across that period.
- Despite making his Test debut in Sri Lanka over 13 years ago, Stuart Broad has only played three Test matches in the country. He has picked up three wickets there (averaging 83), but is six scalps away from going above Courtney Walsh (519) and into sixth in the list of all-time leading Test wicket-takers.

England have rested Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes for the two-Test tour to Sri Lanka in January, while there is a recall for Jonny Bairstow.

All-rounder Stokes is not involved following the recent death of his father, Ged, while paceman Archer is given a break following a busy year.

Both players will return to Test duty in February against India, with England's squad planning to fly directly to Chennai from Colombo ahead of that four-match series.

Opening batsman Rory Burns is another absentee from the 16-man group travelling to Sri Lanka; he will remain at home for the birth of his first child.

As for those that do make the trip, Bairstow is involved again having not played in the longest format since the first Test of the series against South Africa in December 2019.

The right-handed batsman averages 34.74 in his Test career with six centuries, including scoring 110 against Sri Lanka in Colombo just over two years ago when batting at number three in the order.

There is a place for uncapped Essex batsman Dan Lawrence too, while Moeen Ali, Dom Bess and Jack Leach provide spin options in the party.

England depart on January 2 for Hambantota, where the squad will prepare for action. Both Tests are to be staged in Galle.

Ollie Pope - who is still recovering from shoulder surgery - will join the party to continue his rehab work ahead of the tour to India, while a seven-man group of reserves has been announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board.


England Test squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.

Chris Jordan and Arshdeep Singh took three wickets apiece in a dramatic Sunrisers Hyderabad collapse as Kings XI Punjab extended their winning streak to four Indian Premier League matches.

In-form Kings XI could only post 126-7 in Dubai on Saturday – Nicholas Pooran top-scoring with 32 on a slow track.

Spin wizard Rashid Khan was yet again the standout bowler with 2-14 from four overs, while Sandeep Sharma and Jason Holder also struck twice.

Sunrisers were 100-3 in reply and looked set for victory, but went down by 12 runs after they capitulated to 114 all out as their play-off hopes took a huge blow.

David Warner made a brisk 35 at the top of the order before the Kings XI bowlers put the squeeze on, with the excellent Jordan taking 3-17.

Arshdeep also played a big part in such a low-scoring contest, finishing with outstanding figures of 3-23, while Ravi Bishnoi took 1-13 as Sunrisers fell apart to slip below Kings XI into sixth place.

They lost five wickets from nine balls in the last two overs, three falling in the final over from Arshdeep, which they started needing 14 to win.

What a victory this for @lionsdenkxip. Four wins in a row for them.

They win by 12 runs.#Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/YuzbILBiAd

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) October 24, 2020

 

RASHID COMES TO THE PARTY AGAIN WITH BOX OF TRICKS 

Afghanistan star Rashid was unplayable yet again, bowling KL Rahul with a peach of a delivery.

The Kings XI batsmen had no answer to Rashid's flight, dip and turn, while Deepak Honda missed a leg-break and Jonny Bairstow whipped off the bails to give the 22-year-old his second wicket.

Rashid's economy rate of 5.29 is the third-best in the competition and he has played considerably more games than the two men – Chris Morris and Lockie Ferguson – above him on that list.

SUNRISERS GO DOWN AFTER BRIGHT START

With only a modest total to chase down, Sunrisers looked destined for victory with Warner going along nicely in an opening stand of 56 with Bairstow.

But the impressive Bishnoi had Warner caught behind and Bairstow followed for 19 in the next over, bowled trying to sweep Ravichandran Ashwin.

Vijay Shankar made 26, yet Sunrisers fell to pieces with Jordan – who also took a catch – and Arshdeep ripping through the order, while Bishnoi bowled as many as 14 dot balls.

Rajasthan Royals returned to winning ways in the Indian Premier League, producing a stunning late onslaught to down the Sunrisers Hyderabad by five wickets in Dubai. 

The Royals appeared in danger of suffering a fifth straight loss when, replying to Hyderabad's total of 158-4, they were left needing 54 from the final four overs in their run chase. 

However, Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag combined to see their team home with a delivery to spare, the latter sealing victory with a towering six over cover. 

Tewatia, though, had crucially gone after Hyderabad's key bowler in Rashid Khan, the leg-spinner's final over - the 18th of the innings - leaking 14, as he smashed 45 off 28 deliveries.  

Parag finished up unbeaten on 42 from 26 as an unbroken stand worth 85 covered for the failures of the big names at the top of the order, including the returning Ben Stokes. 

The England all-rounder had earlier sent down just a solitary over as the Sunrisers set a competitive target thanks to contributions from captain David Warner (48) and Manish Pandey, who made 54. 
 

STOKES BACK, BUT ARCHER HITS THE SPOT 

It was a low-key comeback to cricket for Stokes. Having not played since August for family reasons, he made six from five balls as an opener for the Royals when batting alongside Jos Buttler (16).

Instead, it was Jofra Archer who was the top-performing England player in action. He bowled a seriously quick over up front to international team-mate Jonny Bairstow, then returned later in the innings to emphatically clean up Warner as the Sunrisers skipper looked to cut loose. 

TEWATIA TURNS THE TABLES 

It seemed the Sunrisers were set to prevail having knocked over the Royals' top order cheaply, including running out Steve Smith for five. 

Yet Tewatia had other ideas, particularly when it came the pivotal over from Rashid. Having gone for just 12 from his previous three, the Afghanistan bowler was the subject of two outrageous reverse sweeps, both of which went to the boundary. 

Jonny Bairstow fell three shy of an Indian Premier League century before Rashid Khan claimed three wickets as Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed Kings XI Punjab by 69 runs.

An opening stand of 160 between David Warner (52) and Bairstow (97) put Sunrisers firmly in control, though they would have been slightly disappointed to finish on 201-6 given the platform laid for them.

Kings XI required something special if they were to chase down 202 and a 17-ball half-century from Nicholas Pooran (77) certainly gave them hope.

However, he was one of three victims for Rashid (3-12), whose stingy four-over spell proved pivotal as bottom side Kings XI collapsed to be dismissed for 132 inside 17 overs.

There were five wides in the first over of the match, setting the tone for an innings that was only slightly rescued from a Kings XI perspective by Ravi Bishnoi (3-29) and Arshdeep Singh (2-33), as Sunrisers scored only five boundaries in the last 38 balls.

Kings XI were three down inside seven overs, the dangerous KL Rahul - the leading run-scorer in this IPL - falling for 11, but Pooran's brutal hitting ensured Sunrisers were far from home and hosed.

However, Kings XI slumped from 105-3 to 132 all out, with Sunrisers claiming a win that moved them up to third in the table.

 

BAIRSTOW OUTSHINES MILESTONE MAN WARNER

Warner hit five boundaries from his first 14 balls and went on to make his 50th IPL half-century.

However, it was opening partner Bairstow's boundary-laden knock that really caught the eye, the England batsman smashing seven fours and six maximums in a fine effort.

POORAN HITS TARGET

West Indian Pooran scored the fastest half-century of this IPL by bringing up the milestone in just 17 deliveries.

Prior to the tournament he said making the most rapid 50 was on his agenda, and boy did he deliver as he smashed Abdul Samad for three sixes and a four to get there.

Pooran also has three of the five biggest sixes in this edition of the IPL - all over 100 metres.

Jonny Bairstow has lost his England Test contract and Mark Wood has also missed out, but Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dom Sibley have all been handed central deals.

Bairstow had a red-ball contract for the 2019-20 season despite struggling for form.

But after featuring just once for the Test team in the past year - scoring only 10 runs in the Boxing Day Test in South Africa - the Yorkshire star has not seen his deal renewed.

Bairstow will instead have only a white-ball contract, as will fast bowler Wood.

The Durham seamer has played three times for the red-ball team this year, impressing in the tour of South Africa, where he took nine wickets in Johannesburg.

But Wood fell down the pecking order as England returned home, with James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes often preferred.

By contrast, there was good news for Crawley, Pope and Sibley, who have established themselves in Joe Root's Test squad.

Crawley has steadily improved since his November 2019 debut, smashing 267 in his first innings against Pakistan last month.

Pope has been a regular this year, too, and had an unbeaten century in South Africa, while Sibley's steady work has bolstered a previously flimsy top order.

Meanwhile, Tom Curran had an increment contract for the previous campaign but now has a white-ball deal. Joe Denly has missed out altogether.

Sunrisers Hyderabad registered their first win of the 2020 Indian Premier League season, overcoming previously unbeaten Delhi Capitals by 15 runs on Tuesday.

After back-to-back defeats to start their campaign in the Twenty20 competition, it proved to be third time lucky for Sunrisers, who posted 162-4 after being put into bat.

Jonny Bairstow led the way with 53 from 48 deliveries, though it was Kane Williamson who made the most telling contribution. The New Zealand batsman was drafted into the XI and responded to the opportunity with a rapid 41.

His 26-ball knock included five boundaries as he capitalised on a solid opening stand worth 77 between Bairstow and David Warner, who made 45 in his 50th IPL game as captain.

Delhi saw several batsmen get starts without kicking on during their unsuccessful reply, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant struggling to break the shackles despite making 34 and 28 respectively.

Rashid Khan was at his miserly best for Hyderabad, claiming superb figures of 3-14, and while Shimron Hetmyer provided some much-needed impetus, hitting 21 from 12 thanks to a pair of sixes, Delhi finished up on 147-7.

 

KANE ABLE TO HELP

Respective strike rates of 136 and 110 for the usually fast-scoring Warner and Bairstow demonstrated how it was far from easy for batsmen to force the pace on a slow, low surface at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

However, Williamson showed it is not all about power in the shortest format. The right-hander was the only batsman to find any rhythm, cleverly hitting balls into gaps to add 52 with Bairstow for the third wicket.

RASHID SHUTS DOWN CAPITALS

The Afghanistan international's spell included 13 dot balls and he conceded just a solitary boundary, as well as claiming three crucial top-order wickets.

However, the leg-spinner may not have dismissed opener Dhawan had it not been for wicketkeeper Bairstow.

The England international was the only one to strongly appeal for a catch behind and while initially given not out on the field, the original decision had to be overturned following a review.

Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey scored magnificent centuries as Australia claimed a three-wicket victory over England in a thrilling ODI series decider at Old Trafford.

Australia had been reduced to 73-5 in response to England's 302-7 and looked to be on the brink of defeat, but they were rescued by their highest-ever ODI sixth-wicket partnership of 212.

Maxwell hit seven maximums as he racked up 108 runs from 90 balls – his highest score in the 50-over format – while Carey added 106 for his maiden ton.

Both players were dismissed as part of a dramatic finale, but Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins got the 10 runs required from the final over as the tourists won with just two balls to spare.

Earlier, an astonishing start to Wednesday's play saw England lose Jason Roy and Joe Root in the first two deliveries of the day, as Starc set about dismantling England's top order.

Yet Jonny Bairstow (112) led a superb counter-attack that had not only given the hosts a fighting chance, but put Australia on the back foot.

Chris Woakes and Root took two wickets apiece in the early stages of Australia's reply as England took control.

But Maxwell and Carey's heroics flipped the script and meant it was Australia who won 2-1, avenging their loss by the same scoreline in the trio of T20I matches.

England have named nine uncapped players in a 24-man training squad ahead of the three-match ODI series against Ireland.

Paul Collingwood will take charge of the group, which will live and train on-site at the Rose Bowl in Southampton ahead of the series, which starts on July 30.

Only eight of the players who were part of the 15-man squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup are included.

Seven players – Henry Brookes, Sam Hain, Laurie Evans, Phil Salt, Brydon Carse, Richard Gleeson and Tom Helm – have not represented England in any format.

Lewis Gregory and Liam Livingstone have previously won Twenty20 caps, while David Willey returns after missing out on last year's World Cup squad.

Alex Hales, who has not been included in a squad since he tested positive for a recreational drug in April 2019, was left out, with national selector Ed Smith touching on the batsman's omission.

"I have nothing to add to what Eoin Morgan has said about Alex," Smith told Sky Sports.

"We know how good a player he is, we know what happened, Eoin has been very clear about his comments and we support that."

Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were left out of England's squad for the three-Test series against West Indies but are included in the training group, as is Jason Roy.

Jonny Bairstow may not be part of England's Test squad to face West Indies next week, but national selector Ed Smith insisted the wicketkeeper-batsman remains in his plans.

England have named their 13-man group for next week's first Test against the Windies at Southampton, and there was no place for Bairstow or all-rounder Moeen Ali.

Bairstow has not played for England since making a combined 10 in his two innings of the first Test against South Africa in December, and the 30-year-old averaged only 18.55 in 10 Tests in 2019.

Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes are ahead of Bairstow in the Test pecking order, but the Yorkshireman is still a key figure for the limited-overs teams and Smith has not discounted a red-ball return in the future.

"No one doubts he is a very good cricketer across all formats and no doors are closed for him," Smith told reporters.

"We are fully aware of what he can do in Test cricket. But it is also the case that we are where we were before coronavirus caused a suspension - Jos Buttler is the man in possession and Ben Foakes was the deputy on that tour to Sri Lanka.

"I wouldn't make any presumptions in terms of anything being blocked for Jonny. There is a wide understanding of how good he is at his best.

"He is a very talented player and has played some very fine innings for England across the formats. That is not going to be forgotten.

"Jonny has had an exceptional spell of form in white-ball cricket and there is cricket to be played there, so it seemed the best arrangement for Jonny to move across to the white-ball bubble.

"With Moeen and Jonny, part of the calculation is that they have been very good performers in white-ball cricket."

Moeen's absence from the Test team stretches back to the Ashes last year as he withdrew from consideration for England's tours to New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Though he will not be involved in Southampton next week, Smith is pleased he has made himself available for Test selection again.

"We are very glad Moeen is available - he is a trusted and valued cricketer and his availability is good news for the spin department," Smith added.

England have opted not to recall Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali for their first Test against West Indies, but Dom Bess does make the 13-man squad.

Test cricket returns on Wednesday when England meet the Windies behind closed doors in Southampton in the opening Test of a three-match series.

Ben Stokes will captain the side for the first time as regular skipper Joe Root has left the team bubble to attend the birth of his second child.

Sam Curran, who has been battling illness, is the only other player to miss out from the XI that faced South Africa in Johannesburg in England's last Test in January.

The squad for the West Indies Test also includes Rory Burns, James Anderson and Jofra Archer - who were missing at the Wanderers due to injury - and spinner Bess, who played earlier in the South Africa series.

There is no recall for either Bairstow or Moeen, neither of whom are included on the nine-man reserve list, which does feature Curran.

Bairstow has not played since scoring a combined 10 across two innings against South Africa in the first Test of that series last December.

All-rounder Moeen has not featured in the five-day game since the 2019 Ashes having opted out of England's three tours since, though he was named in the 30-man squad that has been training in preparation for the Windies series.

Uncapped pair James Bracey and Dan Lawrence - both of whom scored half-centuries in the intra-squad match this week - are on the reserve list too along with bowling options Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood and Ollie Robinson.

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