England v West Indies, First Test - Statistical Preview

Stoneman will be Alastair Cook's 12th opening partner since Andrew Strauss retirement

Joe Root called on his England players to think on their feet before Thursday's maiden day-night Test against West Indies at Edgbaston, urging them to put aside any preconceived ideas about how the pink ball will play under floodlights and adapt accordingly.

The Three Lions will make one change to the side that played in the fourth and final Test against South Africa, with Surrey batsman Stoneman replacing former Durham team-mate Keaton Jennings as the opening partner for Alastair Cook. "The players are the game, they held all the cards and it was good unity from the Australian players to stick together and I'm just delighted that the Ashes series will be going ahead as planned".

"He will definitely have wanted to play here", said Root of Woakes.

"Of course you want it to be settled", said Root.

And there was no place either for uncapped Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane.

Root is aware his team are expected to win this series easily. "I think Toby deserves his opportunity".

The three matches against West Indies, beginning with the first day-night Test in this country, are England's last assignment in the longest form of the game before they defend the Ashes in Australia this winter.

"I think there are different challenges that [the pink ball] brings and at different times of the day than you'd normally expect in Test cricket", he said, "But, ultimately, it is still the same fundamentals of cricket and you've just got to make sure that when those hard periods crop up that we respond well and quickly".

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"Shannon Gabriel has had a pretty decent year; I haven't been doing too badly, and we've got young Alzarri Joseph and Miguel Cummins". It's who makes the greatest adjustment in the day-night game. "It'll be interesting to see how this week pans out".

This West Indies side is placed at No. 8 in the Test rankings and has not won an away series against opposition apart from Bangladesh or Zimbabwe this century. "Our focus is to play good cricket".

Whether what works in Adelaide and Brisbane, with their fine weather and clearly-defined definition between day and night, does so in Birmingham in the middle of August however, where sunset on the first day is not until 8.28pm with play due to finish at 9pm, and a significant chance of sopping dew, we shall know by this time next week.

Playing this series opener in day-night conditions adds an element of jeopardy, however, and the buildup this week has seen plenty of theories regarding a pink Dukes ball that goes soft after the opening burst, the affect of twilight in the evening session on batting conditions and impact on body clocks and fatigue across a five-day game.

Kraigg Brathwaite and Roston Chase, at 4/1, are the favourites to be West Indies' top-scorers in this Test.

"It was very odd and after the start it felt like a one-dayer, I had to calm myself down and tell myself that I might need to be out there all day".

"I thought the guys at the back end there.in other Tests around the world that seemed to be the danger period and I thought we coped with that very well. We just have to stick to the basics, stick to our processed plans and look to nail those down".

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