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  5. Mark Wood in line for return to England's XI in 3rd Test, Ben Stokes likely to field two seamers

Mark Wood in line for return to England's XI in 3rd Test, Ben Stokes likely to field two seamers

Mark Wood is the quickest pacer in the England squad that has assembled in India. He went wicketless in the first Test of the series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Published on: February 14, 2024 7:28 IST
Mark Wood.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Mark Wood.

England's tearaway pacer Mark Wood is likely to return to the playing XI in the third Test in Rajkot after he was rested for the 2nd Test in Vizag.

Wood was the lone seamer for the visitors in the first Test and was replaced by veteran pacer James Anderson in the second Test as England have adopted the horses-for-courses approach thus far.

Wood's inclusion in the playing XI may lead to the ouster of off-spinner Shoaib Bashir as skipper Ben Stokes has suggested that they will play two seamers if the wicket at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium doesn't seem like a raging turner.

Stokes believes that if Wood plays alongside Anderson then they won't have to be worried about his workload.

"The reasons why we would look at Jimmy and Woody would be I just like to have a point of difference. And India is never a three-seamer option," Stokes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"Obviously having Woody's high pace, and if we were to go with two seamers again, it would give a bit more rest to Woody as he was that sole seamer in the first Test. So managing his workload. If we were to go with two seamers, we might be able to get a bit more versatility and use Woody how we want to use him out here and not worry he's the only seamer," the England skipper added.

With the series hanging in balance at 1-1, Stokes feels that all the Three Lions need to worry about is to play cricket to the best of their ability.

"I think one-one sets up for a good series. I think one thing I said early on is we've got a hell of a lot more cricket coming up after this series, so try and take every game as it comes and not solely try and focus on each series. Just keep on trying to drive everything forward.

"If we play cricket to the best of our ability or close to, then we know the results will look after themselves. I think that's the most important thing for us over the next, certainly this year, because we've got a lot of games coming up," he mentioned.

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