In the upcoming India Test in Ranchi, set to start this Friday, England has made some changes to their lineup. Fast bowler Ollie Robinson has earned a spot in the team, along with spinner Shoaib Bashir.
Robinson, aged 30, last played for England in the third Ashes Test at Headingley back in July. Unfortunately, he had to leave the series due to a back spasm after bowling just 11.2 overs.
He replaces Mark Wood, who played in two of the India Tests. Additionally, Shoaib Bashir steps in for Rehan Ahmed.
Bashir, a 20-year-old spinner, debuted in the second match against India Test in Visakhapatnam after facing a visa delay that caused him to miss the opener.
After suffering a significant 434-run defeat in the third Test, England now trails 2-1 in the ongoing five-match series. The Ranchi pitch is expected to favor spin, prompting England captain Ben Stokes to express his hope for the young off-spinner Bashir to make the most of the conditions.
Stokes mentioned that the team likes to assess the pitch two days before and one day before the match to finalize their playing XI. He described the Ranchi wicket as something he had never seen before, with deep cracks on one side but appearing flat on the other.
Stokes believes that someone like Bashir, who bowls from a high release point and gets extra bounce, will be crucial for England’s game plan.
Stokes himself, primarily a batsman due to knee surgery last year, bowled in the nets on Wednesday, providing a boost to the team after the heavy defeat in the third Test. However, he remained uncertain about his bowling prospects for the Ranchi Test.
Regarding the pace spearhead James Anderson, Stokes expressed confidence in the veteran player’s ability, despite him being just four wickets away from 700 Test wickets. Anderson returned with only one wicket in the previous match but is eager to perform in Ranchi.
Stokes highlighted Anderson’s longevity and dedication, stating that he is a role model for young fast bowlers.
England has shown support for struggling senior batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root to bounce back in the final two Tests. The team’s aggressive “Bazball” approach is under scrutiny, and they hope to turn things around in Ranchi.
The England XI for the Ranchi Test
Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, and Shoaib Bashir.