After recording a sensational 227-run victory in the opening India vs England Test match in Chennai, the visiting England team witnessed a massive turnaround as they loss the second Test by a comprehensive margin of 317 runs. The four-match Test series stands levelled at 1-1 and things are looking pretty nicely poised for the last two Test matches including the upcoming third Test to be a day-night affair starting from February 24 in Ahmedabad. The Joe Root-led England team have also announced their squad for the upcoming pink-ball Test match.
The English duo comprising of wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow and speedsters Mark Wood and Jofra Archer have been included in the 17-member squad for the third Test match against India after being rested for the first two Tests. However, in a surprising development, Moeen Ali, who took a total of 8 wickets in the second Test against India, will be flying back to England to spend some time with his family which is in accordance with the visitors’ strange rotation policy.
“Moeen Ali will return to England for a break while Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood join the squad having been rested for the first two Tests,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement.
Both Bairstow and Wood were part of England’s playing eleven in the two Test matches in Sri Lanka and thus, they will surely be hoping to make a comeback in the side for the important pink ball encounter. After performing impressively in the first Test, Archer missed out on selection for the second Test against India due to an elbow injury. With Bairstow’s experience and being regarded as a good player of spin bowling, he is certain to be part of the playing XI for the day-night Test while Wood and Archer’s selection will depend on the nature of the pitch and conditions at the newly built Motera stadium in Ahmedabad.
England’s top-order batsman Zak Crawley also makes his return after being ruled out of the Chennai Tests due to a wrist injury. It will also be interesting to see whether England play both their senior pacers in James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the playing eleven or not. Now with Moeen out of contention, Dominic Bess, who picked a brilliant four-wicket haul in the first Test, will also be hoping to make a return in the England side.
Joe Root (C), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
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