Young spinner and Express pacer OUT: England announce Playing XI for Ranchi Test match against India

With some cracks visible on the surface. the pitch is likely to aid the spinners.

England have made two changes from the side that played in Rajkot?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
England's bowlers looked out of sorts in India's second innings of Rajkot Test.

England have announced their playing XI for the fourth Test at Ranchi. The visitors have made two changes to the side that played in Rajkot. Fast bowler Ollie Robinson will make his maiden appearance in the series with fast bowler Mark Wood making way for him. On the other hand, offspinner Shoaib Bashir has been recalled in place of legspinner Rehan Ahmed.

This will be Robinson’s first Test match in India. He suffered a back spasm in the Ashes last July, after which he was out of action. Robinson averages 22.21 in 19 Tests with 76 wickets but has suffered injury issues. He will pair up with the veteran James Anderson, who had a rare ordinary game at Rajkot.

The absence of Mark Wood comes as a surprise as he provided the opening burst in the first innings of Rajkot Test, which reduced India to 33-3. Wood picked up 4-114 in that innings.

England announce Playing XI for Ranchi Test against India

Meanwhile, Shoaib Bashir played the second Test in Vizag, but was dropped for the third. The 19-year-old bowled 25 overs in Vizag Test but India’s batters took full advantage of his inexperience and showed aggressive intent against him. Bashir’s high-arm action is likely to be the reason why England opted for him at the expense of Rehan.

The pitch at the JSCA Stadium, Ranchi is expected to be less friendly for batting and it will bring the spinners into play. It is understood that Dan Lawrence, the off-spinning allrounder was also considered for selection.

Bashir will pair up with Tom Hartley and the part time offspinner Joe Root in England’s spin bowling lineup. Tom Hartley is the second highest wicket-taker of the series with 16 wickets from 3 matches. With Jasprit Bumrah rested for this Test, it presents a golden opportunity for Hartley to become the highest wicket-taker of the series.

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India lost the first match of the series at Hyderabad, but won the next two Tests played at Vizag and Rajkot respectively. It’s a must-win game for England and they will be eager to bounce back.