England have announced the sides that will face one another in a three-day intra-squad match beginning on Wednesday at the Ageas Bowl.
With Joe Root to miss the match and the first Test against West Indies to be present at the birth of his second child, stand-in skipper Ben Stokes will lead one side, with Jos Buttler to lead the other. Buttler has been named vice-captain for the first Test and looks firmly set to keep his hold on the wicketkeeping gloves.
Team Stokes: Dominic Sibley, Keaton Jennings, Zak Crawley, Jonathan Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, Olly Stone, James Anderson, Saqib Mahmood.
Team Buttler: Rory Burns, James Bracey, Joe Denly, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (c), Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson.
Surrey spinner Amar Virdi and Somerset seamer Jamie Overton – both part of England’s 30-man training squad in Southampton – have not been selected to play in the match.
On the subject of the intra-squad match, coach Chris Silverwood said he expects to see some “hard cricket” over the course of the three days, with the selectors to name a squad for the first Test on Saturday.
“Off the field, they’ll be as a group, as they are,” said Silverwood. “We tend to look at ourselves as one cricketing family behind closed doors, learning from each other. I’d be reluctant to separate the two groups from that point of view but certainly when we’re on the field I expect hard cricket out there. I think that’s what we’ll get. What we have got is people that have come back into this bubble very fit from a physical point of view, very motivated, building their way in very nicely and there have been some very good skills on show. It should be a good game of cricket.”
The intra-squad match will be streamed on ecb.co.uk and begin at 11am (BST) on Wednesday. The first Test against West Indies will begin at the Ageas Bowl on July 8.