The Cricketer Readers' England XI: Who on earth isn't picking Ben Stokes?!

The Cricketer invited its readers to pick its England XI for the third Test against India in Rajkot - here is what they came up with…


The Cricketer invited its readers to pick its England XI for the third Test against India in Rajkot.

Via an internet poll over the last few days, here is what they came up with…

Interestingly, the player picked by the most selectors was Zak Crawley, which shows how far opinion has changed in the last 12 months. He made half centuries in both innings at Visakhapatnam as his opening partnership with Ben Duckett continues to go from strength to strength.

Duckett received just two fewer votes than Crawley, though quite who those who didn't choose him thought might open the batting in his place remains a mystery.

Ollie Pope, doubted by some ahead of the series on account of his struggles in India three years ago, appears to have quelled those sceptics – only Crawley received more votes than Ben Stokes' vice-captain.

Indeed, Pope actually received one more vote than Stokes himself (!) and four more even than Joe Root.


The third Test begins on Thursday (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

And it says plenty for Tom Hartley's progression through this series that no bowler picked up more votes than the left-arm spinner.

There were also more votes, perhaps surprisingly, for Ollie Robinson than Mark Wood, but more than double for James Anderson than either of those as England consider the balance of their lineup for Rajkot. There was a smattering, too, for Gus Atkinson and Dan Lawrence, the only other men – along with Robinson – yet to feature in the series.

The Cricketer Readers' XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson

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