Twitter rejoices return of international cricket
England captain Ben Stokes decided to bat in the first Test against the West Indies at Southampton on Wednesday as international cricket resumed after the lockdown.
For the first match of the three-Test series, England left out veteran paceman Stuart Broad, their second most successful Test bowler behind James Anderson who did start, as well as Chris Woakes.
It was the first time Broad had missed a home Test since 2012, with England deciding to pair express fast bowlers Jofra Archer, born in Barbados, and Mark Wood for the first time since the Archer's Test debut last year.
"Very, very tough decision with Broad and Woakes but we feel with Woody and Jofra's pace it adds another dimension," said Stokes.
"There was a lot of disappointment around but they took it like champions."
West Indies omitted specialist spinner, Rakheem Cornwall, with batsman Roston Chase to provide some slow bowling in support of a four-man pace attack of Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph and captain Jason Holder.
"Overhead conditions suggest we could make use of it," said Holder.
"We've gone with four quicks and Roston Chase for a spin option. Discipline is the name of the game."
England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Denly, Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes (capt), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wkt), Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, James Anderson
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder (capt), Shane Dowrich (wkt), Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Adrian Dennis