England have added off-spinner Dom Bess for the second and final Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston, starting June 10 (Thursday).
Head coach Chris Silverwood said the Yorkshire spinner has been added to the squad to provide a cover-up for any injury concerns leading up to the Test.
The hosts already have Jack Leach – their first choice spinner in the squad, who was not included in the playing XI at Lord’s. But England are contemplating playing Leach in the final Test while Dom Bess comes in as a backup.
Chris Silverwood said ahead of the second Test:
“We will see when we get there but I’m making sure we’ve got every base covered.”
Dom Bess has picked up 36 wickets from 14 Tests
Dom Bess arrived at the team hotel on Sunday (June 6) evening and will need to go through 48 hours of managed isolation. If he tests negative and all goes according to plan, he will train with the squad on Wednesday (June 9) before the second match that starts on June 10.
The 23-year-old, who made his debut against Pakistan in 2018, has represented England in 14 Tests, scalping 36 wickets. His last match in red-ball format was against India earlier this year in Ahmedabad. Bess returned wicketless, giving away 71 runs from 17 overs.
Meanwhile, England received severe criticism for not playing a spinner in the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s. Although skipper Joe Root backed the management’s decision to play four pacers, Dom Bess’ inclusion hints that they have learned from their mistake.
The series is currently level at 0-0 after the first Test ended in a draw. England banked on Rory Burns’ hard-fought century to post 275 runs in reply to the Kiwis’ first innings total of 378.
Starting their second innings with a 103-run lead, the Black Caps accelerated on the morning of the last day to set up a competitive total of 273 for England to chase. But the lack of time meant both Kane Willamson and Joe Root had to settle for a draw under the fading light.
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