Cricket

The selectors have made some big calls .

England fans are debating squad changes for the fourth Test vs India

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England head into the fourth Test with India with the series on a knife-edge.

Defeat by a mammoth 203 runs at Trent Bridge narrowed the hosts' lead to 2-1.

To make matters all the more complex for Trevor Bayliss and the rest of the selection panel, they have had to take a number of injuries into account when selecting their squad for the Ageas Bowl.

Jos Buttler will keep wicket due to Jonny Bairstow's broken finger, yet the Yorkshireman retains his place as a specialist batsman - he averages over 41 in the series so far.

The man-of-the-match from the second Test, Sam Curran, who many felt was harshly dropped to accommodate Ben Stokes in Nottingham, is also back to replace Chris Woakes.

Woakes' innings of 137 effectively won England the match at Lord's but he has suffered a recurrence of a persistent thigh problem.

However, the biggest talking point of all comes in the return of Moeen Ali. It means England will operate with two spinners thanks to the ongoing presence of Adil Rashid.

Moeen is back

The 31-year-old will primarily be used as a batsman and comes in for Ollie Pope, who has only just made his debut - the Middlesex youngster has scores of 28, 16, and 10 in his three innings so far.

Moeen was poor in the Ashes, partly due to a hand injury, but he has been shining for Worcestershire of late.

Moeen scored a recent double-century against Yorkshire

Against Somerset in the County Championship, he took eight wickets, while he hit 219 against Yorkshire.

In light of that, it seems the majority of England fans welcome his inclusion, but couldn't help feeling sorry for 20-year-old Pope in the process.

Few would have anticipated Moeen making a return to the national set-up so soon, though England have been forced to shake things up partly due to injuries, and not least because they cannot afford another defeat like the one they endured at Trent Bridge.

“He’s in fine form, he’s gone back to his county and – what you want from international players is for them to go back and prove a point – and that’s exactly what Moeen’s done in the last couple of weeks," captain Joe Root said, per the Guardian.

“He seems in a really good place so that’s a good sign for England moving forward and good for him as he’s obviously gone away and worked really hard at his game.” 

Full team: Cook, Jennings, Root (c), Bairstow, Stokes, Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Curran, Rashid, Broad, Anderson.

Are you happy with England's selections? Have your say in the comments. 

Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
Moeen Ali
Ben Stokes
Jonny Bairstow
Joe Root

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