England vs West Indies: Stuart Broad set to miss out on XI with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood included

Will Macpherson
·5-min read
ECB via Getty Images
ECB via Getty Images

England will not name their team for the opening Test of the summer against West Indies until Wednesday morning, but are set to leave out Stuart Broad, preferring the high speed duo of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

Broad last missed a home Test match eight years ago, when he was rested in a dead rubber against the West Indies. He enjoyed a strong 2019, averages 24 over his last two home summers and is just 15 wickets short of becoming the second Englishman to 500.

But, barring a last minute change of heart, England are leaning towards pairing Archer and Wood for the first time in Tests. Archer, who has 30 wickets in his first seven Tests, missed three Tests in South Africa in January with a stress fracture of the elbow, but is fit again.

So too is James Anderson, who is set to lead the attack in the month he turns 38. Anderson suffered a rib injury in South Africa, missing the last two Tests.

Wood returned to the XI in those two matches and excelled. He has 18 wickets in his last three Tests, including a scintillating six for 45 in England’s victory over West Indies

In the absence of Joe Root, who is attending the birth of his second child, England will be captained by Ben Stokes. He completes the seam attack, with Chris Woakes also set to miss out, while Dom Bess will provide the spin option.

Root is replaced at No4 by Zak Crawley, with Joe Denly retaining his place at No3. Also back after missing matches in South Africa through injury is Rory Burns. He opens with Dom Sibley.

Stokes is their 81st men’s captain and – bar leading in the intra-squad warm-up match last week – this is his first captaincy experience since 2008, when he led the Durham Academy.

Stokes revealed that Root has instructed him to “do it your way”.

"The best message that I've received was when I got my photos done yesterday with the blazer," Stokes said. "Rooty just left a message on the hanger which said: 'do it your way.’

"When I first got asked I said I'd be open to opinions. Just because Joe's not here, that doesn't mean I'm not going to use him. Joe's always been very open and willing [to listen] to advice from players, so I think I'd be stupid to go away from that. We've got so much experience in this team that it would be silly not to lean on that if I feel like I need some advice.

”With Joe and his personal situation it's been a case of letting him deal with that. I haven't been on him too much but I know as soon as the Test match starts, I know he'll be at home watching and I know that his phone will always be available for me to get in contact with him if I need to.”

Wood returned to the XI in those two matches and excelled. He has 18 wickets in his last three Tests, including a scintillating six for 45 in England’s victory over West Indies

In the absence of Joe Root, who is attending the birth of his second child, England will be captained by Ben Stokes. He completes the seam attack, with Chris Woakes also left out, while Dom Bess will provide the spin option.

Root is replaced at No4 by Zak Crawley, with Joe Denly retaining his place at No3. Also back after missing matches in South Africa through injury is Rory Burns. He opens with Dom Sibley.

Stokes is their 81st men’s captain and – bar leading in the intra-squad warm-up match last week – this is his first captaincy experience since 2008, when he led the Durham Academy.

Stokes revealed that Root has instructed him to “do it your way”.

"The best message that I've received was when I got my photos done yesterday with the blazer," Stokes said. "Rooty just left a message on the hanger which said: 'do it your way.’

"When I first got asked I said I'd be open to opinions. Just because Joe's not here, that doesn't mean I'm not going to use him. Joe's always been very open and willing [to listen] to advice from players, so I think I'd be stupid to go away from that. We've got so much experience in this team that it would be silly not to lean on that if I feel like I need some advice.

”With Joe and his personal situation it's been a case of letting him deal with that. I haven't been on him too much but I know as soon as the Test match starts, I know he'll be at home watching and I know that his phone will always be available for me to get in contact with him if I need to.”

England XI: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Denly, Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes (c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Dom Bess, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Jimmy Anderson

Read more

West Indies bring strong bowling attack, but their batting is shallow

England and West Indies to take a knee before First Test

Key: Even top cricketers will fear they've forgotten how to play