Stoneman selected as Cook's latest partner for England

Ajustar Comentario Impresión

The pink ball is not an alien thing.

"I've never played an easy game of Test cricket, and I expect this to be a real big challenge for us", he said.

Joe Root has confirmed that Mark Stoneman will make his England debut in the first Test against the West Indies. It would be a considerable upset were they to beat England over the next month but the men from the Caribbean should not be underestimated either. Their last win in any Test on these shores came at this ground back in 2000 - a series they went on to lose 3-1.

Australia's third, fourth overall, day-night Test was played at Brisbane against Pakistan.

So to enable Test teams to continue to wear whites, the pink ball has come into being. Despite their respective taster sessions, no one involved - on their own admission - knows what to expect from the pink Dukes under lights over the next five days.

'He is tough to bowl at, but I think the fact he is Alastair Cook's 12th opening partner since Andrew Strauss goes to prove just how hard it is and how good Cooky has been. We could see the first ever sub introduced because a fielder's got heartburn although, as with extra tea and biscuits, my concerns may not be universally regarded as a huge threat to the game. With the bat, the pressure will be on Moeen too, as England's top order can't be relied upon.

"I don't think there's anything to spark that", said Holder, whose tourists remain without several star names - the legacy of a bitter dispute with Caribbean cricket chiefs.

Selectors hitherto have been noticeably reluctant to pick him, and even now it carries an air of desperation, with Hameed, a preferred option, still to regain anything like the form of past year.

"He hits the bad ball for four - which is always frustrating for a bowler". However, a similar problem is likely to feature for fielders attempting to spot the pink ball in dark conditions. Furthermore, the ball tends to swing sharply off the pitch for the first 10-20 overs before it loses its sheen, placing undue importance on the toss as both teams will want to bowl first.

Jonny Bairstow, who has the job of keeping wicket under lights, admits he has little idea how the ball will behave when the match starts on Thursday.

"There's a lot more communication going on between the players and the officials", he said.

Westley's temperament though looks to be a strong point. Opener Tom Latham (50) notched a half-century but the next highest scorer was debutant Mitchell Santner (31) as New Zealand were skittled on a day when the most memorable scene was the stunning Adelaide sky the teams played under.

Warwickshire and Edgbaston would love this match to mark the return of Chris Woakes, following a debilitating injury.

Woakes, meanwhile, is hoping to make his worldwide return from injury as he tries to inch out Toby Roland-Jones as third seamer.

Gabriel had a good time against Pakistan recently.

Three of those contests were played in Australia, all won by the hosts, whilst Pakistan defeated England's opponents West Indies by 56 runs in Dubai previous year.

"We've struggled in the past, primarily with our batting, but so far on this tour we've been doing really well", added the captain, who saw four West Indies batsmen score hundreds in their floodlit warm-up match against Derbyshire. The future, with a more enlightened administration, may see a more potent global team gathered which could include those now apparently disenfranchised.

Further, the touring squad is a young one, with just three players - Kemar Roach, Kieran Powell and Shannon Gabriel - playing a Test in England before.