Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed Dropped as England Announce Playing XI

Written by Abhishek Patil

Ben Stokes-led England have announced their playing XI for the fourth Test against India, starting Friday in Ranchi. The visitors, who are reeling in the 5-match series 1-2, have made a couple of changes to their line-up which took the field in the previous encounter in Rajkot. The Three Lions have included Ollie Robinson and Shoaib Bashir, replacing Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed, respectively.

England Playing XI for Ranchi Test:

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

Addressing the pre-match presser on Thursday, England captain Ben Stokes heaped praise on Robinson, calling him a ‘skilled’ bowler who can be successful anywhere.

“He’s (Robinson) got unbelievable skills to be a successful bowler anywhere in the world. What we’ve seen in England is he’s very skilful, but we’ve seen more than that in Pakistan. It’s similar but different here, but the skill he possesses, he can find any movement, and his release point is always going to be dangerous,” said Stokes.

Robinson’s last Test match for England was the third Ashes game at Headingley last year, where he bowled just 11.2 overs in the first innings before a back spasm forced him on the sidelines for the rest of the series. Stokes feels Robinson has put in the hard yards to get a look into the Ranchi Test, which will also be his first time playing in India.

“He has worked incredibly hard while he has been out here. It is tough for someone like Ollie, who’s played such a big part in the game over the last two years, where he has not taken part in a game and the stuff he has done away from the game itself has been very good,” Stokes said.

“I told him he has been a great example of doing the right things and waiting your turn if it comes. Not playing the first three Tests can be tough and disappointing. But the way he has cracked on and got his fitness stuff in and not let disappointment get in the way of a potential chance that might come in this series,” he added.

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Abhishek Patil