England Opt for Pace: Mark Wood In, Shoaib Bashir Out for 3rd Test Against India


In preparation for the crucial third Test match against India in Rajkot, the England Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a strategic change in their playing XI. Pace bowler Mark Wood has been drafted into the squad, replacing Shoaib Bashir in the lineup. This alteration marks England’s commitment to a pace-oriented strategy for the upcoming match.

A statement from the ECB confirmed the adjustment, stating, “The Three Lions have made one change with Mark Wood replacing Shoaib Bashir.” Additionally, the milestone occasion awaits skipper Ben Stokes, who is set to mark his 100th Test appearance for England at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

With the series currently leveled at 1-1, both teams are vying for supremacy after India’s victory in the second Test at Visakhapatnam, following England’s narrow defeat in the opening encounter in Hyderabad. Recalling the events of the second Test, India’s impressive bowling performances, spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin, proved instrumental in their triumph over England, setting the stage for a fiercely contested series moving forward.

Ahead of the third Test match against India in Rajkot, England Cricket has revealed a single alteration to their playing XI lineup. The team provided updates via their official Twitter handle, @englandcricket, confirming the adjustment.

In the second session of day four, England, with skipper Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes at the crease, started at 194/6. Foakes’ boundary off Jasprit Bumrah propelled England past the 200-run mark in 46.1 overs. However, England’s hopes of a significant partnership were dashed when a miscommunication between the batsmen led to Stokes’ dismissal for just 11 runs, courtesy of Shreyas Iyer’s exceptional fielding effort. Subsequently, Bumrah claimed the final wicket, dismissing Tom Hartley for 36, as England was bundled out for 292, suffering a defeat by 106 runs.

Looking ahead, the third Test is scheduled to commence on February 15 in Rajkot, followed by the fourth Test in Ranchi on February 23. The series will culminate with the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala starting from March 7.

England’s Playing XI for the third Test includes Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, and James Anderson.

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