England skipper Joe Root has championed the impressive demeanour of Somerset spinner Dom Bess after confirming that the rookie twirler will make his Test debut against Pakistan at Lord’s on Thursday.
Bess, who has featured in just 16 first-class matches during his fledgling career and taken only one County Championship wicket this term, is set to become England’s youngest spin debutant since 1931.
The selection of Bess, 20, leaves Chris Woakes and Mark Wood fighting it out for the final seamer slot alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes. Root, meanwhile, has few concerns that Bess could be overawed by the occasion.
“He is a very confident young man,” said Root of the third new spinner to debut for England in the space of four Tests.
“He has a lot of energy and it seems like he is really clear about what he wants to do in the game and how he is going to approach this week. That is all you can ask of somebody going to make his debut, which is really exciting for me as captain.”
Root is poised to move up the order and bat at No3, while the clash will see the explosive Jos Buttler return to red-ball international cricket, having last played in December 2016, and Stokes play a home Test for the first time since being charged with affray.
“You can see he [Stokes] is buzzing and desperate to get back out there,” added Root.
“You watch Ben train and he sets the standard. He is a standout. If you watch a whole practice session, he does everything at match intensity and he helps drive it. To have him bowling as well will add to our attack and give us a different dimension.”