ECB on Tuesday has announced a 16 man squad for the fifth & the final test against India to be played at Emirates Old Trafford. The board has included Jos Buttler & Jack Leach in the squad for the IND vs ENG 5th Test 2021.
Jos Buttler missed the fourth Test to be with his wife at the birth of his second child but he has now returned back to the squad for the final test match. On the other hand, Jack Leach was in England’s squad for the first two matches but was released to play for Somerset club after not being included in the Playing XI at both Trent Bridge and Lord’s. Sam Billings who has been included in the squad as a cover for Jos Buttler has been released from the squad.
If Jos Buttler is added to the Playing XI for the final test then either Jonny Bairstow or Ollie Pope would be benched for the fifth test. Jonny Bairstow has featured in each & every test but his form is averaging at 26.29. On the other hand, Ollie Pope who has replaced Buttler in the Oval test has displayed heroics with the bat. So it will be tough for Chris Silverwood & Joe Root to make a choice between the two.
“Jos will be available for Old Trafford and yes there will be a decision that has to be made, so we’ll be making that over the next few days,” Silverwood said. “I’m going to keep my thoughts to myself for the moment, I’m going to have a sleep on it and then I can obviously make decisions from there. I and Joe can have a talk and make a decision”, added Silverwood.
Meanwhile, thoughts are given to resting James Anderson for the fifth test at Old Trafford as Anderson looked completely exhausted by the end of India’s innings & Ollie Robinson is the only pacer who has bowled maximum spells in both innings. Even if Anderson & Robinson do play at Old Trafford there are chances of including Mark wood in the final test squad.
Speaking about Mark Wood’s inclusion in the final test squad & the decision of resting Anderson, Silverwood said, “He’s certainly someone who comes back into contention. We have got some aching bodies, I’m not going to deny that, so we obviously have to keep an eye on that. He could come back and if he does, he will obviously add that pace for us. If the pitch is abrasive as it usually is at Old Trafford there should be reverse swing. He’s certainly back in contention.”
Chris Silverwood further said that he wants England to learn from the way India seized an iconic win on the final day of the Oval Test when they scalped three wickets in the first half an hour after lunch. The way India performed in the post-lunch session was commendable & helped them to take an unassailable lead in the ongoing test series.
“We have to recognize situations, first and foremost the spell from Jasprit Bumrah was as good Test bowling as you are going to see. But at the same time, if we want to be where they are we have got to manage those situations, we’ve got to counter those situations. He blew us away with that spell and made it very difficult for us but it is certainly something that we have to learn and that is what being ruthless is being all about”, said Chris Silverwood
“Today, in particular, showed why they are arguably the No 1 team in the world. It was an outstanding bowling performance. It seems they get half an opportunity and they push the door open and go for it. I’m watching that, hoping to learn from that, and hopefully, it’s something we can instill into our team over a period of time. They were certainly impressive today”, added Chris Silverwood
IND vs ENG 5th Test 2021: England Squad
Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
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