Off-spinner Dominic Bess has been included in England’s squad for the second Test against New Zealand to be played at Edgbaston, Birmingham, starting June 10. England head coach Chris Silverwood has described Bess' inclusion as a backup in case of injury or Covid emergency.
England head coach Chris Silverwood has confirmed that Yorkshire off-spinner Dominic Bess has been added to the England squad ahead of the second Test against New Zealand.
Bess has played for the Three Lions in 14 Tests after making his debut in 2018 and has picked 36 wickets with his best figures of 5/30 against Sri Lanka. Bess played his last Test match against India in the Ahmedabad Test, which England lost by an innings and 25 runs. The 23-year-old averages 41.64 in the 2021 County Championship, and his recent figures of 4/51 helped Yorkshire beat Sussex comfortably by an innings and 30 runs. He earned his place back in the England squad as a backup player, confirmed by England head coach Chris Silverwood.
Bess’s inclusion to the squad indicates left-arm orthodox spinner Jack Leach is likely to start in England’s playing XI for the Edgbaston Test after he was benched in the Lord’s Test. Although Silverwood hasn’t come clear on this aspect, when asked about Leach’s potential inclusion, the England head coach said, “We will see when we get there but I'm making sure we've got every base covered.”
England and New Zealand drew the first Test at Lord’s, and it was a game that was dominated by the Kiwis, who had a realistic chance of winning the match on the final day. Silverwood admitted that his side lacked discipline, at times, and revealed that he addressed a host of issues.
"I felt we showed a lack of discipline at times, with shot management, and we paid the price for that. It's something we addressed, we talked about in the dressing room. One thing I am keen for this team to do is face problems and grab a difficult day."
England opener Rory Burns played a crucial knock of 132 in the first innings, and the knock came at a very important time for the southpaw, after being sidelined against India. Burns’ partner, Dom Sibley, meanwhile helped England save the Test on the final day, and Silverwood expressed his admiration for both the openers.
"On the plus side, we saw Rory Burns come back in after being left out in India, show a lot of character. I thought he played beautifully and was really pleased to see him get his hundred. Then [Dom] Sibley in the second innings, I thought he showed a lot of discipline and guts to stick in. He showed us how stubborn he can be, which is why he's there."
The ECB, on Sunday, temporarily suspended Sussex pacer Ollie Robinson following his distasteful tweets and confirmed that the pacer will take no further part in the New Zealand series. Silverwood himself had to break the news to Robbinson about his old tweets getting publicised and the coach feels that the player has learned his lesson and has shown remorse by accepting his mistake and issuing a public apology.
"Obviously he was devastated, embarrassed, and very remorseful. He was very quick to take on board what had happened. He apologised whole-heartedly to the dressing room. He came out and apologised to the rest of the world to, which he had to. He had to face up to this,” Silverwood said.
"It was very disappointing. What should have been one of the greatest days of Ollie's career didn't end up well for him. It was disappointing for the group. It was a stark reminder for us all the responsibilities that we hold in the position that we are in. There is absolutely no place in this game for any form of discrimination whatsoever. He showed a lot of remorse, he apologised publicly, he apologised to the dressing room.
"I think it's been a really big learning for him. The big thing for us all is education. We are all striving to be better, none of us are perfect, and we all need to make sure we are learning all the time. We can make sure the world is a better place. Most importantly, we can work hard to ensure that this great game is inclusive for everybody and there's no form of discrimination whatsoever."