PCA PRESS RELEASE
Returning captain to record first MVP points of summer at Emirates Old Trafford.
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England’s Test skipper Joe Root will feature in the PCA’s England Most Valuable Player Rankings for the first time this summer as he returns to the side to face the West Indies in the second Test of the ongoing three-match series which begins at Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday.
Root, who missed England’s four-wicket defeat to Jason Holder’s men in Southampton in order to attend the birth of his second child, will bolster England’s batting order as he takes the reins from vice-captain Ben Stokes, who stepped in to lead the side during the first Test on the south coast.
The eighth-ranked Test batsman in the world finished second in the Overall MVP for 2019/20, and was comfortably England’s most effective batsman over the winter with 100.4 batting points at an average of 16.11 points-per-game in New Zealand and South Africa.
He will look to replicate such form as he attempts to unseat teammate Stokes from the top of the Overall MVP, with the latter currently leading the way in terms of total (33), batting (12.5) and bowling (20) MVP points.
The MVP Rankings were created by the PCA in conjunction with the players in order to determine the match-winners in any given fixture. On top of traditional batting and bowling averages, bonus points are awarded for key contributions such as scoring a high proportion of your team’s runs, claiming top-order wickets and taking catches in the field.
Four England Men’s MVPs will be named at the conclusion of the side’s summer schedule, with one for each of the three main formats as well as a cross-format Overall MVP. Stokes is the current holder of that title after he scored 181 MVP points at an average of 20.15 points-per-game during the winter.
The 2019/20 ODI MVP, batsman Joe Denly, is the man to make way for Root having returned 6.83 MVP points with scores of 18 and 29 at the Ageas Bowl.
His Kent teammate Zak Crawley will move one place up the order to number three after making an impressive 76 in England’s second innings in the same game. Crawley is currently England’s second-ranked batsman, a mere 0.39 batting MVP points behind Stokes.
England’s third-ranked batsman, opener Rory Burns, will look to build on a steady first appearance in international cricket since injuring his ankle in January. The Surrey skipper has 10.51 MVP points to his name going into the match in Manchester.
Bowling-wise, Stokes is the clear MVP leader having claimed six wickets during the first Test, including the key scalps of Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood and skipper Holder.
Behind him, it’s speed vs seam as James Anderson and Jofra Archer sit almost level on 15 and 14 bowling MVP points respectively, the former excelling with three wickets in the West Indies’ first innings and the latter claiming the same haul in their second.
However, with Anderson and Mark Wood rested for the second Test, it provides an opportunity for others to stake their claim in the MVP Rankings. Stuart Broad is in prime position for a recall alongside Chris Woakes who were the bowlers to miss out at the Ageas Bowl.
Broad was the 2019 Summer Test MVP and has 48 Test wickets at an average of 23.5 to his name over the past 12 months. Sam Curran joins him and Ollie Robinson in the 13-man squad, the Sussex seamer’s maiden England call-up.
Robinson has been a standout performer in the County Championship in recent seasons, finishing an impressive 10th in the 2019 Championship MVP and if selected will have a crucial role to play with the hosts needing two victories from two in Lancashire in order to regain the Wisden Trophy from the West Indies.
View the England MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.