Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood is all set to make his Test debut as England have announced their playing XI for the upcoming second Test against West Indies, starting on Wednesday (March 16) at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Mahmood has been picked to replace speedster Mark Wood, who sustained an elbow injury during the three-match series opener in Antigua. This is the only change that has been made as Chris Woakes and Craig Overton have continued to feature in the playing XI.
Notably, Mahmood’s selection in the whites was always on the cards since his sting with Lancashire in 2019. In the same year, the right-armer made his T20I debut in New Zealand, but his impressive show came in last summer’s home ODI leg against Pakistan, where he was named Player of the Series for his nine wickets in a 3-0 series win.
“He’s a great option to have up our sleeve. He’s very mature for a guy who hasn’t played a huge amount of international cricket. He has a real understanding of how he wants to operate,” said England captain Joe Root as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
“He’s been very impressive; he’s got a slightly different trajectory and will give us a point of difference. He’s done that when he’s played in other formats, he clearly has good control, especially if the ball moves with reverse swing,” added Root.
Both the visitors and the hosts would be aiming for a triumph in the second Test as the opening match was ended in a draw.
Here is England’s Playing XI for Barbados Test:
Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (captain), Dan Lawrence, Ben Stokes, Jonathan Bairstow, Ben Foakes, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood (debut)