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IND vs ENG: England considering major bowling changes despite trailing in series

England are already trailing 2-1 in the series and considering to go back to their one-pacer approach for the fourth Test at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi. The visitors can rest both Mark Wood and James Anderson bringing in a new pacer, who has not played in the series so far.

Varun Malik Edited By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: February 21, 2024 17:50 IST
Jonny Bairstow, Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes
Image Source : GETTY Jonny Bairstow, Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes.

England are considering making a couple of major changes to their bowling despite trailing 2-1 in the series against India. The visitors are looking to turn back to their one-pacer approach for the fourth Test of the series in Ranchi. England went with two seamers - Wood and James Anderson for the first time in the series in Rajkot and suffered a drubbing of 434 runs at the hands of the hosts. 

According to ESPNCricinfo, the English side is looking to bring in Ollie Robinson for the fourth Test and can pick him as the lone specialist pacer for the fourth Test. The English side went with one pace, three spin and Joe Root's part-time bowling attack in the first two Tests while they played both Wood and Anderson for the Rajkot game, which they lost by 434 runs.

They are considering bringing a fresh pacer into the side with Robinson in line to make his maiden appearance on the tour. He last played a competitive game at Headingley in the Ashes in July and has been warming the benches in the ongoing series. 

After looking at the cracks on the pitch of the JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi two days ahead of the game, playing a lone pacer would not be a bad idea. Also, if Ben Stokes returns to his full capacity as an all-rounder, it could pave the way to rest Anderson and bring Shoaib Bashir into the side as spin is expected to come into play quickly.  

Ollie Pope gave a detailed insight into the Ranchi pitch, stating that there are a lot of cracks. "There's a lot of cracks. It's very platey, and they've just wetted it as well, which generally dries it up. It doesn't necessarily look like a belting wicket at the moment. It kind of looks like one half is good, and then there are a lot of platey cracks. That's how we see it at the minute. I think we will see what happens tomorrow after the Indian team has looked at the wicket, then make a decision from there," Pope said.

"At the minute, it looks like batting from the far end, it's outside the right-hander's off stump and then from this end, the left-hander's off-stump. It just looks like it's down the wicket, it's kind of plated on one side and then the other side looks like a pretty good wicket," he added.

Stokes has opened up on the possibility of returning to bowling for the final two games despite making a pinky promise to team physio Ben Davies of not bowling in the entire series. Pope said there is a chance he could bowl now. "There's definitely a chance. He's not confirmed it even in the changing-room, so we will see. He bowled at the batters today. We'll see how he pulls up, and if that's good hopefully we will see him with the ball in hand in the game," he said.

However, he added that he would like to have a check on him. "I think when he's going it's pretty tough to get the ball out of his hand, to be honest. But I'll chat to him before the game, see if he wants anything like that from me. If he's got full confidence in his knee, I guess you've got to trust the medical advice and trust his opinions as well. That's the main thing and if he needs a bit of guidance on the pitch, then I can be someone to lean on," he said.

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