The England selectors are playing musical chairs, with Ollie Pope the latest to drop.
England captain Joe Root announced his team for the fourth Test against India at the Ageas Bowl starting tomorrow, with a number of changes from the side humbled by India at Trent Bridge.
Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran is back in place of Lord’s centurion Chris Woakes, who has been declared unfit due to a thigh issue. Moeen Ali will step up for his first Test action of the summer, taking the place of Lord’s Test debutant Pope.
‘Chris is not fit to play this week and Ben Stokes has a slight issue so for the balance of the side, Moeen comes in for Ollie. Moeen has done exactly what you’d want him to do, he’s been scoring runs and taking wickets in county cricket and should be full of confidence,’ said Root.
‘We’ve bounced back from difficult defeats before and that’s the challenge for us to do it again here. There are no guarantees in international sport.’
Jonny Bairstow fractured his finger keeping wicket for England in the Trent Bridge Test, but retains his place in the side as a specialist batsman. Jos Buttler will hang on to the keeper’s gloves for the fourth Test.
‘Jos is going to keep wicket. It’s a lot to ask Jonny to do it with a broken finger, but he’s fit to bat. We have to do the best thing for this team to win the game,’ added Root.
Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook both survive despite rising pressure about their lack of runs as an opening pair as well as their individual contributions with the bat and in the slips.
England will look to seal the series as they go into the fourth Test with a 2-1 lead.
Joe Root (c)
Jos Buttler (w)
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