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Other SportsAtkinson and Smith to debut for England alongside Anderson against West Indies

Atkinson and Smith to debut for England alongside Anderson against West Indies

Surrey duo Gus Atkinson and Jamie Smith will make their Test debuts as England begin their red-ball summer against West Indies at Lord’s on Wednesday.

Somerset spinner Shoaib Bashir will play his first Test match on home soil after debuting in India earlier this year.

Warwickshire seamer Chris Woakes returns to the XI for the first time since last summer’s Ashes series against Australia.

He is joined in the pace attack by James Anderson, who turns 42 later this month, who will win his 188th and final cap after the England hierarchy told him they want to move on to younger pace bowlers.

England’s all-time leading wicket-taker with 700 Test victims, took a County-Championship best 7-35 for Lancashire against Nottinghamshire last week.

Anderson told a press conference: “I knew it had to end at some point, whether it’s now or a year or two years. The fact that it’s now is just something that I’ve got to deal with and accept.”

The timer began to run down on Anderson’s 21-year Test career in April after talks with England Test captain Ben Stokes, coach Brendon McCullum and managing director Rob Key.

“I wouldn’t say it was a surprise, because when the three big dogs invited me to a hotel in Manchester for a chat I didn’t think it was just a normal appraisal,” he admitted.

“I had a suspicion. I think they were surprised at how calm I was and I was probably surprised at my reaction. I wasn’t overly emotional or angry.

“I saw their point of view and appreciated them taking the time to lay it out for me. Since then I’ve come to terms with it and made peace with that decision. I’m just looking forward to one more game and then see what’s ahead.”

Anderson became the first fast bowler to register 700 Test wickets when he won his penultimate cap against India in Dharamsala in March.

Anderson will join the England coaching team as a bowling mentor after this game, though he hasn’t ruled out playing for Lancashire in the future.

“If I feel like I can still contribute to Lancashire or they need me, then I’m sure that’s a conversation we’ll have in the next few months,” he said.

England XI

  1. Zak Crawley
  2. Ben Duckett
  3. Ollie Pope
  4. Joe Root
  5. Harry Brook
  6. Ben Stokes *
  7. Jamie Smith +
  8. Chris Woakes
  9. Gus Atkinson
  10. Shoaib Bashir
  11. James Anderson
Alex Hoad
Alex Hoad
Alex has more than 15 years' experience in sports journalism and has reported on multiple Olympics, World Cups and European Championships in additional to Champions League, Europa League and domestic football.
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