Wood comes in place of Bashir for Rajkot Test

By Real11 - Feb 14 2024 166 Views

England pick Mark Wood, experiments with bowling combination for Rajkot Test

England has opted for speedster Mark Wood for the third test in Rajkot. The 34 year old seamer will slot in the playing XI replacing spinner Shoaib Bashir who made his debut in Visakhapatnam. 

Wood’s selection will provide the bowling prowess of England a little different balance to the one they’ve played thus far. They’ll now have two full time pacers in their bowling attack with veteran James Anderson paired up with Wood while Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Joe will split the spin bowling responsibilities.  The change in strategy has been devised due to the pitch and the history of big scores in two tests at this venue. 

“It stays like that, there's every chance two seamers will be played," Ollie Pope told BBC Sport on Tuesday (February 13). "I don't want to give away too many secrets, but at the minute there's a bit more grass on it. It looks like a pretty good pitch."

Wood played in the inaugural test but went wicketless in his sole appearance despite bowling 25 overs across the two innings. He was then replaced by James Anderson in Visakhapatnam with the veteran making a mark instantly picking up a wicket in the first hour of the day’s play. Should the pitch behave as has been expected, skipper Stokes will rely on Wood’s air speed to bring him back amongst the wickets. 

England XI for Rajkot Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson

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