India skipper Virat Kohli decided to field an unchanged side in the fourth Test against England on Thursday. The visitors stepped on the field with the same playing XI that won the third Test at Trent Bridge. It is for the first time in 46 Tests that India have not made any changes in a Test match. It is also for the first time in 39 Tests under Kohli’s captaincy that this has happened. Speaking after losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, Kohli said that with Ashwin regaining his fitness, there was no need to make any changes in the team.
“We have an unchanged XI. First time in a long time. Rightly so as well. Don’t think we need to change looking at the conditions. We have all bases covered. Ashwin is ready to go as well. He was 70% in the last game,” he said.
He further added that Ashwin will be a big boost for the team. “Him (Ashwin) fit and ready is a boost for us with so many left-handers in their side. We’ve all gained so much experience, we’ve played four years of Test cricket from the last time. We understand how to react in tough situations,” he said.
Meanwhile, England made two changes to their playing XI, with Ollie Pope being replaced by Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes replacing Ollie Pope and Sam Curran. Speaking after winning the toss, Root said that Woakes’ fitness issues led to the return of Sam Curran into the side. “Two changes, Woakes is unfit so Curran comes in, straight swap. Because Ben’s knee has a slight niggle, Moeen Ali comes in for the whole balance of the squad. To win a five match series you have to rely on the whole squad. Opportunity for Moeen to come back in and prove the form he’s had the last couple of weeks,” he said.
England Playing XI: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root(c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson