England have dropped Joe Denly for the second test against West Indies with Joe Root returning after missing out to attend the birth of his second child. England sorely missed Root with the bat as well as the armband in the First Test in Southampton. Zack Crawley who had stepped in for Root was retained with Denly being axed.
Kent duo Crawley and Denly were effectively battling for one spot in the Southampton Test. Crawley was then given the nod after scoring a classy 76 in the second innings. Denly only managed scores of 18 and 29. Denly has reached the 50 run mark on 6 occasions in test cricket but has never gone on to reach the 3-figure mark. In his 15 tests, he has reached the double-figure mark in all but 4 innings but has been found guilty of throwing away his wicket on many an occasion.
Crawley, on the other hand, has only played 5 innings but has scored 2 half-centuries at an average of 31.25. His 74 last match eclipsed his previous best of 66 he scored against South Africa in January. Root told reporters on Wednesday: “It’s never an easy decision, never easy having to leave someone out. With Joe, he’s done a brilliant job for us over a period of time – he’s helped show our identity as a side and how we played moving forward.”
Root’s return means Ben Stokes will take up the vice-captaincy after becoming England’s 81st test captain and the first all-rounder to captain the England side since Andrew Flintoff. The rest of the lineup will be decided soon with Stuart Broad hoping to be recalled to the side after being left out of the opener. Broad admitted that he was “angry, gutted and frustrated” after being left out fo the side.