Cricket

England name unchanged team against india

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England name unchanged team  (©GettyImages)
England name unchanged team (©GettyImages).

England name an unchanged 11 from the side that trounced India by 266 runs at the Ageas Bowl last week. 

The Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn has been looking back to his sharp best and was tipped to enter the fray today for England on a notoriously generous wicket for quick bowlers.

However the phrase, 'never change a winning formula' seems to have taken the floor for England's selectors as they have shown faith in Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan, despite them both failing to take a single wicket in the previous test at Southampton.

Legendary West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding described the decision as, "disappointing but predictable," during Sky Sports's cricket coverage this morning, clearly suggesting that he thought Finn should be playing. 

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Indian Changes

Where England have made no changes to their side, India have dropped three players; Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami for Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin and Varun Aaron respectively.   

Dhawan has been having major struggles with balls pitched outside his off stump and the more experienced Gambhir, a far less aggressive player, should cope better with a swinging ball.   

Ashwin and Aaron come in purely to freshen up the visitors, who will have the option of bowling two regular spinners in Jadeja and Ashwin at both ends. This could pose a different problem for England than what they have faced from the indians so far in this series.   

Return to form

The obvious difference between the previous test matches prior to their last win was the performances of England's senior players. A 95 and 70 for skipper Alastair Cook was desperately needed from a personal point of view and Ian Bell's imperious 167 led the way for a comfortable win.

During this series England have been pegged back by India's lower order batsmen who have regularly frustrated them. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, batting at number nine, has scored three fifties, highlighting the struggles Cook's men are having in knocking the Indian tail over. 

This wasn't the case in the final innings of the match as the away team crumbled to 178 all out conceding to a huge margin of defeat. The unlikely source of Moeen Ali took six wickets with James Anderson and Stuart Broad providing reliable backup with the ball.

Play at Old Trafford began at 11:30am GMT today in a crucial test match in a series that is currently level at 1-1 with two games to play. 

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