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Anderson to bowl first ball in final Test appearance as England insert West Indies

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Published in Cricket
Wednesday, 10 July 2024 03:06

England won the toss and chose to bowl first vs West Indies

James Anderson will bowl the first ball in his last international match, after Ben Stokes won the toss and put West Indies into bat in the first Test of the English summer at Lord's. Stokes' decision prompted cheers from the Wednesday-morning crowd, who will get to see Anderson bowl in his 188th and final Test match.
Anderson made his Test debut at Lord's in May 2003 and will bring his England career to a close at the same venue in July 2024. He is the third-highest Test wicket-taker in the format's history and needs eight wickets in his final appearance to draw level with the late Shane Warne in second.

"What we can expect from Jimmy is complete heart, desire and passion to go out there and win games for England," Stokes said. "His sole goal this week is to go out there and be the performer that he has [been] for such a long period of time. We haven't really spoken about this week and what it holds up in the dressing room because Jimmy is the utter professional. I'm sure that [for the] first ball that gets bowled today, the crowd will be right up."

Kraigg Brathwaite, West Indies' captain, said that he would have bowled first too but implored his young batters to dream big. "It's important to get in - it's obviously the most difficult time when you first start - but just trust your eyes, trust your technique and think big," he said. "Think big, batsmen today: you're playing at Lord's."

There were no late changes or surprises in selection, after both teams opted to name their XIs early: England on Monday afternoon, and West Indies on Tuesday lunchtime.

England handed debuts to Jamie Smith and Gus Atkinson, the Surrey keeper-batter and fast bowler respectively, with offspinner Shoaib Bashir playing his first match at home. Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes and Ollie Robinson have been dropped while Mark Wood is rested after the T20 World Cup.
For West Indies, debutant Mikyle Louis will open the batting alongside Brathwaite, and will become the first man from St Kitts to play Test cricket. This will be only his eighth first-class match, with his international call-up coming aged 23 following impressive form for the Leeward Islands.
West Indies have not played a Test since their famous win over Australia at the Gabba in January, and this will be a first Test match at Lord's for nine of their players. Brathwaite and the returning Jason Holder are the only exceptions, having featured in a nine-wicket defeat there in 2017.
These teams met in St Lucia three weeks ago at the T20 World Cup, but only three players will be involved in both fixtures: Alzarri Joseph and Gudakesh Motie for West Indies, and Harry Brook for England. Brook, along with Chris Woakes, is playing his first Test for almost a year, with both players missing their 4-1 defeat to India at the start of 2024.
West Indies won the most recent Test series between the sides in early 2022, grinding out a 1-0 win in Joe Root's final tour as England captain. Last time they met in the UK, England came from behind to win 2-1 in the first Test series played following the Covid-prompted global sporting shutdown.

England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Ben Duckett, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Jamie Smith (wk), 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Gus Atkinson, 10 Shoaib Bashir, 11 James Anderson

West Indies: 1 Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), 2 Mikyle Louis, 3 Kirk McKenzie, 4 Alick Athanaze, 5 Kavem Hodge, 6 Jason Holder, 7 Joshua Da Silva (wk), 8 Alzarri Joseph, 9 Gudakesh Motie, 10 Shamar Joseph, 11 Jayden Seales

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