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  5. England likely to rest Mark Wood for fourth Test, plan to unleash new weapon in Ranchi

England likely to rest Mark Wood for fourth Test, plan to unleash new weapon in Ranchi

Mark Wood returned figures of 4/114 in the first innings of the Rajkot Test but went wicketless in the second innings and finished with figures of none for 46 in 10 overs in the second innings.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: February 22, 2024 9:23 IST
Mark Wood.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Mark Wood.

After a shellacking in the 3rd Test at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot, England are fighting to remain alive in the series and find themselves in a must-win situation heading into the fourth Test at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi.

The wicket prepared at the venue for the fourth game of the series has grabbed plenty of headlines and players like Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope believe that it is different from what they have seen in the series.

Though it's not certain whether England will go spin-heavy with a lone seamer or field two pacers the way they did in Rajkot, they will likely rest Mark Wood, who went through a hard grind during the third Test.

Rest to Wood will open the doors for Ollie Robinson, who has been warming the bench since the start of the series.

The England captain has lauded Robinson for his work ethic, and skillset and hinted that the 30-year-old might get a direct entry into the playing XI in the fourth Test.

"I think he has worked incredibly hard while he has been out here," Stokes said. "And 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 was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"I told him today 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's 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," he added.

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