England all-rounder Chris Woakes flies back home, won't be part of fourth Test against India in Ahmedabad
England all-rounder Chris Woakes has flown back home after the third Test against India and will not be available for selection for the fourth and final Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad starting on March 4.
Woakes’ departure is part of England’s rotation policy which has been in place since their last two away tours.
“He (Chris Waokes) has returned home as per schedule for his break, having been on tour, away from his young family, for almost two months,” an ECB spokesperson told Hindustan Times.
Woakes, who did not feature in the three Tests in India, last played for England in the longest format against Pakistan in August 2020.
The right-arm seamer is not a part of the England T20I squad which is slated to arrive in Ahmedabad on Saturday and be in 7-day quarantine.
However, Woakes’ possibility for a return to India cannot be ruled out as the England and Wales Cricket (ECB) are yet to name the squad for the ODI series, which will start after the five-match T20s starting on March 12.
Woakes is not the first player to leave the England squad midway through the Test series. Jos Buttler went home after playing the first Test. He was replaced by Ben Foakes in the England XI. He is slated to keep wickets in the last Test too.
Buttler, however, will return for the T20Is. Another player who left the England Test squad and flew back home was Moeen Ali.
Jonny Bairstow, on the other hand, joined the England squad after the second test match and also went on to feature in the third Test which England lost by 10 wickets to India.
India are currently leading the four-match Test series 2-1. They need to either win or draw the final Test to qualify for the World Test Championship finals. England’s chances ended with their defeat in the previous Test.