England turn to Ollie Robinson, Shoaib Bashir in bid to save series vs India | Cricket - Hindustan Times

England turn to Ollie Robinson, Shoaib Bashir for fourth Test vs India in bid to save series

Feb 22, 2024 02:47 PM IST

England will continue playing two fast bowlers with Ollie Robinson joining James Anderson while there remains a possibility of Ben Stokes bowling.

England have turned to fast bowler Ollie Robinson and spinner Shoaib Bashir as they look to stay in their ongoing five-match Test series against India in Ranchi. England are trailing 2-1 going into the fourth Test and defeat in Ranchi would end their bid to record a rare series win in India. Bashir had played in the second Test while Robinson will be turning up in India for the first time in his career.

Ben Stokes had indicated that he might bowl in Ranchi(PTI)
Ben Stokes had indicated that he might bowl in Ranchi(PTI)

Robinson and Bashir have been brought in place of pacer Mark Wood and spinner Rehan Ahmed. England captain Ben Stokes said that part of the reason for Robinson to come in was to ensure that Wood remains well rested. “You look at the player that Mark is, you want someone like that operating at 100 per cent. His No.1 skill set is how fast he bowls and I think the effort he put in last week was monumental. You want to keep players like that operating at that level. Bringing Robbo in gives us a good option on this wicket,” he told reporters shortly after the announcement of the squad.

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Robinson is returning to the squad for the first time since the third Ashes Test in July in which he was ruled after the first innings due to a back spasm. Rehan is England's second-highest wicket-taker with 11 scalps. However, he was taken to the cleaners by a belligerent Indian batting lineup in the second innings of the third Test. Bashir made his debut in the second Test and returned figures of 3/138 and 1/58. He bowled as many as 38 overs in the Indian first innings.

Robinson will be teaming up with James Anderson, who had been expected to make way considering his work load in the second and third Tests. Stokes had indicated that he might consider bowling in the fourth Test, in which England go into it with three pacers.

England XI for 4th Test vs India: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir

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