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Friday, March 05, 2021

James Anderson misses out as England make four changes for second India Test

Dominic Bess, who enjoyed a five-wicket match haul in the first Test, misses out after a slump in form in the second innings with Moeen Ali set to play his first Test since August 2019.

By: PTI | Chennai |
Updated: February 12, 2021 2:30:45 pm
James Anderson celebrating after bowling out Ajinkya Rahane on the final day of the first Test. (BCCI)

James Anderson made way for Stuart Broad, while experienced off-spinner Moeen Ali came in for Dom Bess in England’s 12-man squad for the second Test against India as skipper Joe Root announced four changes to the one that clinched the lung-opener.

Ben Foakes has been included as a wicketkeeper-batsman in place of Jos Buttler as was expected with the latter returning home after the first Test.

Bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes and rookie pacer Olly Stone will be vying for a final spot in the playing eleven.

“We are going to make four changes. Jimmy, Jofra (injured), Jos, Dom Bess are out with Foakes, Ali, Stone, Broad and Woakes coming in to the XII,” Root said in a virtual media conference on the eve of the second Test.

England lead the four match series 1-0 after defeating India by a massive 227 runs in the first Test.

The touring party also received a setback after their strike pacer Jofra Archer was ruled out of the second Test with an elbow injury.

“Of course it is a slight setback but the good news is that it looks like he should be able to get himself fit and ready for the game.

“So as long as he uses the next couple of weeks wisely and looks after he should be fully fit ready to go,” Root said about Archer’s unavailability.

Bess, who picked the prized scalp of Virat Kohli en route to a five-wicket match haul, misses out after a slump in form in the second innings with Ali set to play his first Test since August 2019.

“…it wasn’t an easy decision, Dom’s contributed well and had a real impact. With him missing out, the message for him moving forward is to keep working at that consistency of his game, deliver that skill time and time again,” Root said about the off-spinner’s exclusion.

“He is very young. He’s very much at the start of this, it doesn’t mean that you get a big push back down the pecking order.

The 33-year-old Ali would look to make a return after overcoming COVID-19 earlier this month soon after arriving in Sri Lanka.

“…he’s worked really hard, he’s obviously had a rough tour, the rough end of it having to deal with COVID and quarantine and and do an extra time in his room but since then he’s applied himself extremely well. he’s a very good senior pro in that respect,” Root said.

“It gives Moeen a great opportunity to come back into things with all of his experience. Someone who’s bowling extremely well in practice.”

Olly Stone and Chris Woakes will vie for the place left vacant by Archer.

The 27-year-old Warwickshire pacer Stone had claimed 3/29 on his Test debut against Ireland in 2019 but only to succumb to a stress fracture of the back before disappearing from the scene last year.

Chris Woakes too had to battle COVID-related turbulence after he was identified as a close contact of Ali and was forced to quarantine during their Sri Lanka tour and he would look to make a solid return as well.

“He brings reverse swing massively into the game as well,” Root said on Woakes.

England Squad: Joe Root (captain), Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad.

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