In the latest turn of developments, England has called up all-rounder Chris Woakes for their squad of the fourth Test which will be up against India at The Oval, London. It has to be noted that the home team’s ace wicketkeeping-batsman Jos Buttler would also miss the next Test as he is expecting the birth of his second child. In the same light, Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings has been added to the 15-man squad of England.
Woakes, who was England’s player of the year in 2020, has not been in action for England in whites for more than 12 months due to their rotation policy and his heel injury. Woakes suffered a heel injury that occurred while he was playing against Pakistan in July 2020. However, he is all fit now and ready to take the job for England as he also featured in Warwickshire’s 2nd XI last week. He was also part of the quarter-final of T20 Blast.
“It is very pleasing that we have Chris Woakes returning to the Test squad. He has bowled well over the past week with Warwickshire without any real concerns with his heel injury. He is an asset we have been missing both with the ball and his ability to score runs in the middle order. We are looking forward to seeing him prepare at the Oval as we go into back-to-back Tests,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood as quoted by Cricbuzz.
Jonny Bairstow to take over wicketkeeping duties in absence of Jos Buttler
As Buttler wouldn’t be available for the fourth Test against India, Jonny Bairstow would be taking up the duties behind wickets, confirmed the head coach of England. Mark Wood who is recovering from his shoulder injury is expected to be available for the fourth Test. He suffered a shoulder injury while fielding at Lord’s during the 2nd Test.
“We would like to wish Jos and his family all the very best for the impending birth of their second child. Unfortunately, he will miss this Test, and we’ll then see if he returns for the final Test. Jonny Bairstow will take over wicketkeeping duties, which he is relishing. As we all know, he has the skills to seamlessly take over from Jos and the ability to score crucial runs in the middle-order if called upon.”
England’s updated squad for 4th Test: Joe Root (C), Moeen, Anderson, Bairstow, Billings, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Malan, Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.