England have made quite a few changes in naming their 13-man squad for the second Test of the three-match series against West Indies at the Old Trafford Ground in Manchester. While Joe Denly has been dropped to make way for catain Joe Root who was away on paternal leave hence implying that Zak Crawley will retain his place in the top order, England have rested James Anderson and Mark Wood as part of their rotation policy with Stuart Broad likely to make a Manchester return.
Root missed the opener due to the birth of his second child. In his absence, Kent duo Denly and Crawley batted at No.3 and 4 respectively with the condition that one would make way for Root in Manchester. Crawley nudged ahead with his impressive 76 in the second innings in Southampton while Denly's struggle continued as his scores pushed his career average below 30.
"It's never an easy decision, having to leave someone out," said Root. "He [Denly] has done a brilliant job over a period of time. He's helped show our identity as a side and showed how we want to play moving forward, batting a long period of time and laying a platform.
"Watching Zak's progression, his game continually looks to get stronger. Joe is someone that's done a fantastic job for us and I think he'll be just as frustrated as anyone that he's not managed to quite convert those opportunities. But certainly the door's not closed. He's been a big part of our squad for some time now. He gets if he gets an opportunity to come back again, then I'm sure he'll be desperate to take it."
In another selection speculation, Buttler too has retained his spot while the hugely-backed Ben Foakes is still part of the reserves list. Buttler has been averaging around 17 this year while managing poor scores in the two innings at the Ageas Bowl. But the selectors have kept faith in him and would probably keep him for the third Test as well before taking a call.
In the bowling department, Anderson and Wood has been replaced with Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson, while Chris Woakes part of the XIII. With Broad present as well, the management might opt for Broad and Woakes and of the remaining two, alongside Jofra Archer.
England second Test squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain, Jofra Archer (Sussex), Dominic Bess (Somerset), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey) Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).
Rested: James Anderson (Lancashire), Mark Wood (Durham).
Reserves: James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Craig Overton (Somerset), Olly Stone (Warwickshire).