England erring on side of caution with Woakes, explains Root
Joe Root says England want to make sure Chris Woakes is "absolutely ready" to return to Test cricket after the all-rounder was omitted for the first Test against West Indies.
Woakes has only recently returned to action with Warwickshire, having suffered a side strain in the first game of June's Champions Trophy.
After missing the entire Test series against South Africa, the all-rounder had hoped to make his international comeback on his home ground this week.
However, England's only change from the fourth Test against the Proteas sees Mark Stoneman replace Keaton Jennings at the top of the order, with Woakes and uncapped spinner Mason Crane left out from an initial 13-man squad.
"He will definitely have wanted to play here," said Root of Woakes. "But just with the lack of game time he's had, we felt that just another week of loading up on overs and making sure he was absolutely ready after coming back from quite a serious injury was really important.
"That's where we're at, at the minute, and I think Toby [Roland-Jones] deserves his opportunity here."
Root has indicated England will be patient with Surrey opener Stoneman as the left-hander prepares for his Test debut on Thursday.
Stoneman will become the 12th opening partner for Alastair Cook since the retirement of Andrew Strauss, with Jennings the latest man to be dropped after failing to convince.
Root told Sky Sports: "He [Stoneman] has obviously got a huge amount of runs under his belt this year, in particular, and in previous seasons as well.
"He's got a well-rounded game, he's a bit more experienced having played a lot of county cricket and I'm excited to see him go and hopefully take his opportunity.
"Ideally you want some to come in and set the world alight and their career move forward from there but I'd like to think he'll get a very good opportunity and some good game time with England.
"This is just a great opportunity for Mark to go out and show everyone how good a player he is."