Ben Stokes FORGETS two of five England debutants – including Test team-mate Zak Crawley – as he struggles to name makeshift side for opening Pakistan ODI after seven positive Covid cases forced all players from Eoin Morgan’s original squad to isolate
- John Simpson, Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley, Lewis Gregory and Phil Salt debut
- Ben Stokes is England’s emergency captain for their first ODI against Pakistan
- Dawid Malan, James Vince and Craig Overton are three non-debutants involved
- Lancashire duo Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson make up XI in Cardiff
- Eoin Morgan’s squad were forced to pull out of series after Covid-19 outbreak
Ben Stokes had a moment to forget in his second match as England captain after struggling to name two of the five debutants – including Test team-mate Zak Crawley – for their first ODI against Pakistan in Cardiff.
England were forced to name a totally new squad after seven members of the Eoin Morgan’s original squad and backroom staff tested positive for Covid-19.
Middlesex wicketkeeper John Simpson, South-African born Durham fast bowler Brydon Carse, Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory and Sussex batsman Phil Salt were then named for the first time in a makeshift XI after a large-scale cap presentation ceremony before the match.
England have named five debutants for the first ODI against Pakistan at Sophia Gardens
But speaking after winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Stokes failed to mention Kent batsman Crawley and Somerset’s Gregory, saying: ‘We’ve got 11 changes from the last game.
‘We’ve got five debutants. John Simpson, Phil Salt, Brydon Carse and… I should know this, I’ve just done the cap presentation… can someone help me out?’
No 1 T20I batsman Dawid Malan, World Cup winner James Vince, Stokes himself, Gregory’s fellow Somerset allrounder Craig Overton and Lancashire duo Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson make up the rest of the side.
Stokes’ Test match team-mate Zak Crawley was one of the names the allrounder forgot
Somerset allrounder Lewis Gregory was the other name that Stokes failed to remember
Durham’s Brydon Carse and Middlesex keeper John Simpson complete the list of debutants
Fast bowler Mahmood and leg-spinner Parkinson were before this ODI among the newest members of an England ODI side, having made their bows against South Africa in February 2020.
The XI named in Cardiff has just 135 international caps to their name, the least for an England side since March 1985 when they faced Pakistan in a Rothmans Four-Nations Cup match at Sharjah in the UAE. Emergency captain Stokes has 99 of those 135 appearances.
England had to replace their whole squad and coaching staff on Tuesday for three 50-over matches when coronavirus swept through the camp what managing director Ashley Giles insisted was a ‘safe team environment.’
Eoin Morgan’s initial squad were ruled out after a wave of coronavirus swept through them
A ‘B’ squad with allrounder Stokes as captain that also included nine uncapped players was then named to face Babar Azam’s men 24 hours later, and now five of them will feature at Sophia Gardens.
Meanwhile, there is just one debutant for Pakistan in the form of Saud Shakeel debuts, while Sohaib Maqsood returns for his first match since 2016.
England made an excellent start to the match, with Mahmood removing Imam-ul-Haq and captain Azam in the first three balls to reduce the visitors to 0-2.
They will therefore miss the entirety of the three-match ODI series between the two sides
ENGLAND XI TO FACE PAKISTAN
1) Phil Salt (debutant)
2) Dawid Malan
3) Zak Crawley (debutant)
4) James Vince
5) Ben Stokes (capt)
6) John Simpson (wk, debutant)
7) Lewis Gregory (debutant)
8) Craig Overton
9) Brydon Carse (debutant)
10) Saqib Mahmood
11) Matt Parkinson