England opt to field against India, Woakes and Pope back
LONDON : England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to field in the fourth test against India with both sides making two changes for the match at the Oval on Thursday.
The hosts, who levelled the five-test series 1-1 with an innings victory in the third match at Headingley, welcomed back all-rounder Chris Woakes and middle order bat Ollie Pope.
Sam Curran was left out, while wicketkeeper Jos Buttler missed the match to attend the birth of his second child.
Jonny Bairstow will keep wickets in Buttler’s absence.
“We’re going to try and make use of the overhead conditions, it looks like a nice morning for bowling,” Root said at the toss.
India were forced to make two changes with injured seamers Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma being replaced by Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s wait to play his first match of the series continues as India continued with spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
“England got four left-handers and we thought it is a good matchup for Jadeja,” India captain Virat Kohli said.
“It fits perfectly for our team, plus the balance he’s giving us with the bat.”
England: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (captain), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson
India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj