Joe Root has urged Keaton Jennings to ‘score a volume of runs’ when he returns to domestic cricket after being dropped for England’s first match against West Indies.
The Durham batsman only averaged 15 in eight innings against South Africa and has made way for Mark Stoneman at the top of the order.
Despite struggling against the Proteas – and in particular the bowling of Vernon Philander – Root has backed Jennings to rediscover his form in the County Championship.
‘It’s pretty obvious what Keaton needs to do,’ Root told Sky Sports when asked what advice he would give the 25-year-old.
‘Go get a volume of runs, go back to the County Championship and show everyone what a great player he is. I have no doubt that he will be able to do that.
‘He’s a great character and was a big part of our dressing room to beat South Africa.’
Stoneman has been one of the County Championship’s most prolific batsmen for a number of years and Root insists the 30-year-old deserves his opportunity at Test level.
‘He’s scored a volume of runs this summer and in previous seasons,’ the England captain said. ‘He deserves his opportunity.
‘It was difficult to leave Keaton out, he would’ve loved to have scored more runs personally but this is a great opportunity for Mark to stamp his authority on Test cricket.’
Young leg-spinner Mason Crane has also been included in the 13-man squad for the first Test at Edgbaston.
The Hampshire star impressed in the T20 series against South Africa earlier in the summer but Root insists it is important not to expect too much from the 20-year-old.
‘He’s a very exciting prospect for us,’ Root added. ‘It’s important not to put too much pressure on his young shoulders.
‘But of course this is a great opportunity for him ahead of the winter which could be a big one for many guys.’