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Friday, September 17, 2021

Mark Wood, Chris Woakes return; Jos Buttler to miss fourth Test against India

Mark Wood had hurt his right shoulder while fielding during the second Test against India at Lord's while Chris Woakes has recovered from a heel injury.

By: PTI | London |
Updated: August 29, 2021 9:50:41 pm
England's Mark Wood celebrates a wicket during the first Test against India. (File)

Pacer Mark Wood and all-rounder Chris Woakes were on Sunday added to the England squad for the fourth Test against India after regaining full fitness while Jos Buttler will miss the game as his wife is expecting their second child.

Wood had hurt his right shoulder while fielding during the second Test at Lord’s while Woakes has recovered from the heel injury that kept him out of international cricket since the ODI series against Pakistan in July.

Woakes played a domestic T20 game on Friday and will be a welcome addition to the squad in the absence of key players such as Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.

While Jonny Bairstow will keep in Buttler’s absence, Sam Billings, who has played 25 ODIs and 32 T20s, has been brought in as the reserve wicketkeeper.

“Both of them have come through fine. Wood was bowling yesterday morning. He will be available for selection and Woakes has played so he becomes available again,” Silverwood said a day after England’s series-levelling win over India at Leeds.

Silverwood was also asked if Bairstow was up for the job?

“Yes, I am confident that Jonny can do the job if asked and yes Jonny would want to do the job if asked. We have had already had those conversations. He is happy to do that,” the coach added.

Pacer Saqib Mahmood has been left out of the squad. The fourth Test begins on September 2 at the Oval. The series is tied at 1-1.

England Squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sam Billings (wk), Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Controlled aggression worked for us in Leeds Test: Silverwood

England head coach Chris Silverwood on Sunday said “controlled aggression” contributed immensely to their series-levelling win against India in the third Test, days after the players had let their emotions get the better of them at the Lord’s.

The Indian and English players were engaged in plenty of verbal battles during the second Test that the visitors won on day five with a brilliant bowling performance.

However, the on-field environment seemed to have calmed down a bit at Leeds with England bouncing back in style to win the game an innings and 76 runs.

“Joe and I reflected on the Lord’s Test and thought about what we could learn and how we could get better. And I think there was a controlled aggression around what they did (at Headingley),” Silverwood said during a virtual media interaction.

“The way they hit the lengths hard, the way they put the India tail under pressure and forced them to make decisions all the time. I think you can be aggressive in a very controlled way and I think they got that right.”

Asked if India’s fieriness drops if they are put under pressure like they were at Leeds, the head coach said: The key is to get on top of them because we know they are a very good team. Once they get on top it’s difficult to stop them.”

“We put them on the backfoot and we kept the pressure on, so you know, it shows what we can do. The guys executed the gameplan very well. It shows once you put people on the backfoot, the pressure gets and we can get into them.”

Root also became England’s most successful captain with the team winning a 27th Test under his leadership, surpassing Michael Vaughan’s 26.

“Seeing him become England’s most successful captain was superb. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a while. He’s in a great place at the moment and I’m really enjoying watching him.

“I think he’s a good Test captain. He is growing and learning all the time. We saw that last week. There’s potential there for him to be one of the great England captains. If we win in Australia, we can have this conversation again.”

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