England vs West Indies: Ben Stokes backs axed opener Keaton Jennings to return to form

Reuters, Aug, 11 2017

London: Ben Stokes has backed Keaton Jennings to return to form after the opening batsman was dropped from England's squad to face West Indies in next week's day-night Test at Edgbaston.

The 25-year-old Jennings managed just 127 runs in eight innings during England's 3-1 series win over South Africa and was replaced by Mark Stoneman in the 13-man squad to face the Caribbeans from Thursday.

England's Keaton Jennings leaves the pitch after being caught off the bowling of South Africa's Vernon Philander on the first day of the third test match between England and South Africa at The Oval cricket ground in London, Thursday, July 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Keaton Jennings leaves the pitch after being dismissed on Day 1 of the third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval. AP

"He hasn't had the best of series. He would have known that and been disappointed," all-rounder Stokes told Sky Sports.

"From the amount of runs he has got over the last two seasons playing for Durham, and getting 100 in his first England innings, he knows that he can do it."

Lefthander Jennings scored 112 on his Test debut in India last December and followed it up with a half-century in the next Test against the world's top-ranked side.

But he has failed to show the same level of consistency since, with 48 his highest score in the four-Test home series against South Africa.

Jennings will return to Durham and look to recapture the form that earned him selection.

Surrey batsman Stoneman is set to make his debut at Edgbaston and the 30-year-old will become former captain Alastair Cook's 12th opening partner since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012.

England also called up 20-year-old Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane for the first time in the longest format after he made his Twenty20 international debut in June.

Paceman Chris Woakes has recovered fully from the side strain he suffered during the Champions Trophy and returned to the squad in place of Steven Finn.

England will host West Indies for two more Tests followed by a one-off T20 and a four-match one-day international series.

Published Date: Aug 11, 2017 | Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115