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England Stick to Tactical Combination for Pivotal Fourth Test in Ranchi

IND vs ENg 4th Test: England Stick to Tactical Combination for Pivotal Fourth Test in Ranchi

Ranchi:  In a bid to level the series, England has opted to maintain their strategic two-pace, two-spin combination for the crucial fourth Test in Ranchi. Following their defeat in Rajkot, where they currently stand 1-2 down in the series, England is seeking series parity at the fourth fixture.

Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed have made way for the incoming Ollie Robinson and Shoaib Bashir in the lineup. Robinson, returning to Test cricket after an injury in July during the Leeds Ashes Test, will join the seasoned James Anderson as the two pacers in the squad. Wood, who is replaced by Robinson, managed to secure four wickets in the first innings of the third game but conceded more than four runs an over in both innings.

Shoaib Bashir, making a comeback after being benched for the Rajkot game, had a debut in Vizag where he bowled over 50 overs across two innings, picking up four wickets. Rehan Ahmed, who makes way for Bashir, has been a key contributor for England in the series with 11 wickets, the second-best tally after Tom Hartley.

After the high-scoring Rajkot Test played on a mostly flat surface, attention has turned to the expected conditions in Ranchi. Ollie Pope has described the pitch as ‘interesting,’ indicating the potential challenges for both batting and bowling. England seems to have taken into account the necessity for more control against India’s aggressive batters against spin, opting for an additional finger spinner in place of leggie Ahmed. Additionally, there have been glimpses of Ben Stokes bowling his medium pace in the lead-up to the game, although he remained guarded about the possibility of contributing with the ball in the fourth Test.

The England XI for the fourth Test includes Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, and Shoaib Bashir.

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