Jonny Bairstow named in England team for fourth Test against India, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran return

Jonny Bairstow has been included in the England side for the fourth Test against India.

The 28-year-old suffered a broken finger keeping wicket during the third Test but has been cleared to play at the Ageas Bowl.

Jonny Bairstow has been cleared to play despite a broken finger

Jonny Bairstow has been cleared to play despite a broken finger

Bairstow will feature as a specialist batsman, with Jos Buttler assuming wicketkeeper duties.

Moeen Ali and Sam Curran come into the team, at the expense of Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes.

“Chris Woakes is not fit to play this week and Ben Stokes has a slight issue so for the balance of the side Moeen Ali comes in for Ollie Pope,” said captain Joe Root.

“Jos Buttler is going to keep. It’s a lot to ask Jonny to do it with a broken finger, he’s fit to bat.

Jonny Bairstow was in agony after suffering the finger injury at Trent Bridge

Jonny Bairstow was in agony after suffering the finger injury at Trent Bridge

“We have to do the best thing for this team to win the game. There are no guarantees in international sport.

“We’ve bounced back from difficult defeats before and that’s the challenge for us to do it again here.”

Explaining the reasons for Bairstow playing as a batsman only as England seek to close out series victory, Root said: “It was a medical call.

“He didn’t seem fit to be able to keep 100 per cent in a Test match for five days, and that was the call that was made.

“He will be disappointed. But ultimately we’ve got to make sure we do the best thing for this team to win this game, and I believe Jos is the right man to do it this time.”

Moeen gives England an extra spin option as well as batting depth at number seven, after his brilliant all-round performance for Worcestershire against Yorkshire at Scarborough last week.

Root said: “He’s in fine form; he’s gone back to his county – and what you want from international players is for them to go back and prove a point.

“That’s exactly what Moeen’s done in the last couple of weeks.”

As England bid for an unassailable 3-1 lead following their 203-run defeat in Nottingham, Root added: “It’s a big week, no doubt.

“We under-performed last week – that’s the bottom line – and we have a great opportunity to put that right this time around.

“I think one of our big strengths as a squad is our strength of character – and at home in particular, we’re very good at bouncing back after difficult weeks.

“We’ve done it time and time again before, and we don’t expect anything less from the group this time as well.”

England team for fourth Test:

Cook, Jennings, Root (c), Bairstow, Stokes, Buttler (w), Moeen Ali, Curran, Rashid, Broad, Anderson.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Cricket – talkSPORT

Leave a Reply