England Announces Playing XI For The Fifth Test, Mark Wood Comes In For This Player

For the fifth and final Test against India scheduled in Dharamsala from March 7 (Thursday), England has announced its playing XI. The team, looking to secure a 2-3 series result, has opted for one alteration compared to their lineup in Ranchi. Mark Wood is rejoining the squad after sitting out the last game, and Ollie Robinson has been excluded from the playing XI.

Despite discussions surrounding player rest and workload management, veteran James Anderson is participating in his fourth consecutive Test match on this tour. Having claimed eight wickets in three Tests and delivered an impressive 94 overs, the highest among pacers in the series, Anderson is now on the brink of a significant milestone of 700 wickets in Test cricket.

Anderson needs just two more wickets to become the first pacer ever to achieve this landmark. Despite the conditions in Dharamsala resembling those in the UK, England has opted against fielding three fast bowlers, even with Ben Stokes in consideration as a potential bowler.

Mark Wood is returning to the playing XI after Ollie Robinson’s lackluster performance with the ball. Robinson delivered 13 wicketless overs in the first innings and wasn’t called upon in the second. Although he made a commendable contribution with the bat where he scored 58 runs in the lower order to support Joe Root, the decision to bring back Wood suggests a change in the bowling combination. However, skipper Ben Stokes defended Robinson, disclosing that the cricketer wasn’t in optimal physical condition yet participated in all days of the Test match.

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While talking to the media about the match, Ben Stokes said, “You are more gutted for Ollie that something on day one, his back going, which affects the role he can play in the long run. He is more disappointed that he couldn’t help the team out as much as he’d like. The thing to look at is that he was out on the field, trying to influence the game even though he wasn’t feeling 100% (fit). A lesser man would have put their hands up, walked away, and not even tried.”

England playing XI for the fifth Test vs India: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (WK), Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson, Mark Wood.

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