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England unveil Playing XI for fourth India Test

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RANCHI: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday, announced the Playing XI for the must-win fourth Test against India, scheduled to commence on Friday.

The touring side made two changes to their Playing XI for the Ranchi Test with Shoaib Bashir and Ollie Robbinson coming in for Rehan Ahmed and Mark Wood respectively.

Robbinson last represented England in the third Ashes Test at Headingley in July. But the pacer could only bowl 11.2 overs before being ruled out of the series due to a back spasm.

He will accompany seasoned pacer James Anderson to form England’s pace attack. The 41-year-old only managed one wicket in the Rajkot Test.

Meanwhile, Bashir, who made his Test debut in Visakhapatnam, also returned to the side in place of Rehan Ahmed.

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The leg-spinner took four wickets in the second Test, returning figures of 3/138 and 1/58. Tom Hartley retains his place in the team, with Joe Root expected to continue to bolster the spin attack.

England captain Ben Stokes pinned high hopes on young off-spinner Bashir to do well on the Ranchi wicket, anticipated to aid the spinners.

“We do like to look at the pitch two days out and one day out because that’s how we like to pick our XIs,” said Stokes.

“Someone like Bash, who releases the ball from such a high release point, the extra bounce that he gets we feel is going to bring us more into the game,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention that India lead the five-match Test series against England 2-1.

England’s Playing XI: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir.

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