Gus Atkinson, and Jamie Smith to make debut at Lord’s in James Anderson’s final Test

London: Surrey duo of fast bowler Gus Atkinson and wicketkeeper-batter Jamie Smith will make their Test debuts in England’s first Test against the West Indies at Lord’s on July 10, which is the final match for retiring veteran fast-bowler James Anderson.

Atkinson has played nine ODIs and three T20Is, for England and was a part of the Ben Stokes-led squad for the Test tour of India earlier this year but did not feature in a single game. Overall, he has picked 59 wickets in 19 first-class matches.

On the other hand, Smith, who averages 40 in first-class cricket, played two ODIs for England against Ireland last year and is now all set to play his first Test in a fresh-looking playing XI after being selected ahead of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes for the West Indies series.

Shoaib Bashir, the 20-year-old off-spinner from Somerset, will make his first home Test appearance after playing three matches on the tour of India and picking 17 wickets earlier this year. His selection made ahead of left-arm spinner Jack Leach has also been made possible by captain Stokes back to taking all-rounder duties.

Chris Woakes, who took a break from the game following the demise of his father, completes the rest of England’s bowling attack, marking his return to Tests for the first time since last summer’s Ashes series against Australia.

Harry Brook also returns to the playing eleven and will bat at No.5 after missing the tour of India to be with his ill grandmother Pauline, who later passed away in March. But all the focus will be on Anderson’s farewell from international cricket at a venue where he debuted in Tests against Zimbabwe in May 2003.

England playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jamie Smith (wk), Chris Woakes, Gus Atkinson, Shoaib Bashir and James Anderson.

–IANS

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