England name new-look squads for West Indies on back of World Cup
Less than 12 hours after exiting the World Cup, England named new-look squads for next month’s white-ball tour of the West Indies with an emphasis on rest, rotation and renewal.
The limited-overs trip to the Caribbean, coming straight off the back of a gruelling six-week trawl of India, had already been highlighted as a time to look at fresh faces but the ODI party contains only six survivors from the unimpressive title defence.
Captain Jos Buttler remains in charge and is joined by Gus Atkinson, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone.
Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Mark Wood have been rested ahead of January’s Test series in India and Test captain Ben Stokes is heading straight for an operation on his long-term knee injury.
But the omissions of Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes from the 50-over squad may prove to be more final.
Moeen and Woakes, together with Adil Rashid, are retained for the T20 leg, suggesting they still have a chance of next summer’s short-form World Cup, but Malan has been cut from both formats.
Despite being England’s top run-scorer over the last few weeks, finishing exactly 100 clear of his nearest challenger, at 36 he seems to have run out of road.
Three uncapped players make the cut in the ODI side with Test vice-captain Ollie Pope joining seamers John Turner and Josh Tongue. The pace pair also feature in the 20-over squad.
Phil Salt, Will Jacks and Rehan Ahmed will also make the full trip, indicating they are all seen as important parts of England’s white-ball rebuild.
While Ahmed was handed a two-year central contract last month, it is notable that neither Jacks nor Salt were among the 29 names who did receive deals.
Malan, who appears to have played his final international, was signed up for a year.
Explaining his situation, and how it differs from those who have been stood aside with an eye on Test cricket, England’s director of men’s cricket Rob Key said: “If you told me, 100 per cent, that Dawid Malan is not going to play in the T20 World Cup, I’d say ‘absolutely not’. He’s got every opportunity to get there: he’s just got to show us he can get back to the player he was.
“We reckon his form in T20 over the last year hasn’t been there. He’s going to have to take the opportunity, whether it’s in franchise cricket or whatever, to go out and improve.
“Root, regardless of anything else, needs a break. I think that him getting ready for that Test tour in India, along with Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood (is important).”
As for Jacks, who could soon find himself involved in all three forms of the game for England despite missing out on an ECB contract only a matter of weeks ago, Key suggested the future was bright.
“It might be a case that people might get contracts throughout the year, Will was always someone in our plans,” he said.
“He’s going to get the opportunity now with 50 over cricket and T20 cricket to stake a claim. Hopefully this is the start of something for someone like Will Jacks.”
ODI squad: J Buttler (c), R Ahmed, G Atkinson, H Brook, B Carse, Z Crawley, S Curran, B Duckett, T Hartley, W Jacks, L Livingstone, O Pope, P Salt, J Tongue, J Turner
T20I squad: J Buttler (c), R Ahmed, M Ali, G Atkinson, H Brook, S Curran, B Duckett, W Jacks, L Livingstone, T Mills, A Rashid, P Salt, J Tongue, R Topley, J Turner, C Woakes.
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