England has named a 17-men squad for the third Test against India which is set to be a pink-ball affair at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, starting February 24.
The ‘Three Lions’ have continued with their rotation policy as spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali has been rested while the duo of Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood, both of whom were unavailable for the first two Tests in Chennai, have been added to the squad.
Moeen Ali, who played in the second Test in Chennai, will travel to the UK for a break. Ali missed out on the Test series in Sri Lanka due to him returning positive for Covid-19. He was overlooked for the series-opener against India as England with the spin-duo of Dominic Bess and Jack Leach.
Following a lackluster performance by Dom Bess in the first Test, Ali was named in the playing 11 for the following Test. His inconsistency notwithstanding, the all-rounder faired decently with the ball as he claimed a total of eight wickets across two innings before chipping in with a whirlwind 17-ball 48 in the second innings.
The inclusion of Jonny Bairstow to the set-up will add potency to the English top-order, which has been found wanting against Indian spinners in three out of the last four innings.
Bairstow fared decently well in Sri Lanka where he batted at the No.3 spot and it remains to be seen whom he replaces in the playing 11.
With the third Test set to be a pink-ball affair, it will be interesting to see the fast bowlers that England picks in their playing 11 given the fact that the addition of Mark Wood in the squad has only given them too many options to choose from. James Anderson, who was rested from the second Test, should make a return for the day-night affair while there still remains a few question marks on the availability of Jofra Archer, who was ruled out of the second Test due to injury.
England were thumped by a whopping 317 runs in the second Test and the Joe Root-led unit will be looking to bounce back in the third Test.
England squad for the third Test against Team India:
Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.