Axed opening batsman has experienced a disappointing start to the 2018 season, says Ed Smith, the England national selector.
Scores of 4 and 9 in the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s, which England lost by nine wickets, have cost Mark Stoneman his place in the side for the second Test, with Keaton Jennings replacing him in the squad of 12.
Stoneman had a decent tour of New Zealand, where he scored half-centuries in both the Tests as England lost 1-0, but was in iffy form earlier in Australia, when he hit two half-centuries on his way to aggregating 232 runs in nine innings.
"Mark has experienced a disappointing start to the 2018 season and had a difficult Test match at Lord’s,” pointed out Ed Smith, the England national selector.
With Stoneman out of the reckoning, Jennings was drafted in for what will be his seventh Test appearance, and now has a chance to add to his 294 Test runs when the second Test starts on 1 June at Headingley.
Jennings was a part of the squad that won the home series 3-1 against South Africa last year, and got a recall after averaging 43.79 for Lancashire since the start of the latest edition of the County Championship. He has so far scored 314 runs in the competition with two centuries.
“Keaton Jennings showed a strong temperament in scoring a hundred on his Test match debut against India in December 2016. Keaton has found good form in county cricket this season, including three centuries in his last seven innings (one of them in the One-Day Cup),” said Smith.
England will hope Jennings, as well as the rest of the batting unit, puts up a much improved performance at Headingley after managing just 184 and 242 in the first Test.
Squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.