England announce their official playing 11 for the Ranchi test against India

Ben Stokes led England Cricket Team have announced their playing 11 for the upcoming fourth test against India. The fourth test will be played tomorrow at MS Dhoni’s home ground in Ranchi, and Day 1 will commence at 9:30 IST. The Three Lions have opted to make two changes, as they have bolstered their spin bowling with the inclusion of youngster Shoaib Bashir, and Mark Wood has been replaced by seamer Ollie Robinson. 

No reason has been revealed behind the decision to replace Wood with Robinson, but it’s believed that Wood has been rested, keeping in mind the workload he has carried throughout the five-match series against India and his presence in the Ashes against Australia as well.

Young spinner Shoaib Bashir has replaced leggie Rehan Ahmed for the fourth test against India. Bashir made his Test debut in the Vizag Test against India, and he returned with figures of 3-138 and 1-58 in that game. He was later replaced by Mark Wood for the third test. 

The decision to opt for Shoaib Bashir over Leg Spinner Rehan Ahmed reflect’s the visitors impression of Ranchi’s pitch being described as “interestin” one by skipper Ben Stokes, who believes that the surface will be a fast-moving spin friendly game.

The fourth test against India will be Ollie Robinson’s 20th, and his selection in the playing 11 shows the faith the England management has in his abilities. Despite picking up 76 wickets at a decent average of 22.21, he has constantly faced issues with his fitness and his ability to bowl multiple long spells across the full duration of a test match, at a consistent pace. He has worked hard on fitness over the last nine months, and the Ranchi test will be an opportunity for him to become a regular in England’s test playing 11.

Robinson will be partnering veteran James Anderson, who everyone thought would make way for Robinson keeping in mind his workload, but the 41 year old has retained his place for the fourth test match. Anderson has picked up six scalps at an average of 35.83 on this tour of India.

The Ranchi test promises to be a really exciting one, as England will be looking to bounce back in the series following their defeat in the previous test match at Rajkot, while the hosts will be aiming to seal the series with a win in Ranchi.

England’s playing 11 for the fourth test

Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Joe Root, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes (C), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (WK), Ollie Robinson, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir and James Anderson.

Also read: ICC Test Player Rankings (Rank 1 to 10) Updated (22 February); Yashasvi-Duckett Made Huge Gains | Full ICC Men’s Test Player Standings

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