The England vs West Indies 2nd Test is slated to kick off from July 16 in Manchester. The England squad which was supposed to be named tonight has been delayed for 24 hours. The 21 players, who were hoping to make the 13-man squad will now have to wait out another day.
Joe Denly is expected to make way as regular captain Joe Root returns to the fray, after missing out the Southampton Test following the birth of his second child. It is unlikely to give Denly much hope of a last-minute reprieve but it does hint at some uncertainty among the sages at the top of the hierarchy.
The situation is unusual for the selectors and their conundrums mostly apply in the pace department, especially when picking the final XI. Stuart Broad, who was dropped in the first Test for Mark Wood has also expressed his ‘frustration’ after the decision.
One pressing concern will be if Joe Root choose to go with an auxiliary off-spin or opt for a different type of spinning combination.
The decision would be very tough on Dom Bess, who played well at the Rose Bowl. In fact, for the first time in his career he has been chosen ahead of his county colleague, Jack Leach – this has never been the case at Somerset.
The situation seems tricky on a personal level for the two spinners; being both friends and rivals is not straightforward though it is commonplace in the press boxes beyond the boundary. The Somerset duo keep finding themselves competing for the same spot.
With the chances of England playing two specialist spinners being small in this country, Bess is the man in possession, but wise enough to take nothing for granted.