Trailing -12, England considering Ollie Robinson for 4th Test Vs India

Tearaway Mark Wood featured in the opening Test in Hyderabad but went wicketless in both innings

Update: 2024-02-21 14:30 GMT
Ollie Robinson

NEW DELHI: Trailing hosts India 1-2 in the ongoing red-ball series, England are considering bringing in their specialist pacer Ollie Robinson for the fourth Test against India in Ranchi as they struggle for the right balance in the playing eleven going into the next fixture, according to ESPNcricinfo.

If England do decide to go with Robinson, the 30-year-old will make his first appearance in the ongoing tour. The visitors have changed their seam bowling options throughout the first three Tests.

Tearaway Mark Wood featured in the opening Test in Hyderabad but went wicketless in both innings.

He sat out the next Test in Vizag, with seasoned campaigner James Anderson coming in his place and picking up five wickets in both innings.

In the third Test, England changed their bowling line-up once again, with Wood and Anderson both featuring in the playing XI but failing to prevent the visitors from going down by 434 runs in Rajkot. Both pacers bowled 75.5 overs in the third Test and kept chasing the ball in the outfield for a considerable length of time in the fixture that lasted four days.

Considering that Wood and the veteran, Anderson, may be worn out going into the Ranchi Test, Robinson would offer a fresh pair in the outfield for England apart from his seam bowling prowess. Robinson would make his first appearance since playing against Australia at Headingley in July last year.

He had an underwhelming Ashes series but will back himself to perform with his stunning tally of 76 wickets in 19 appearances in Test for England.

Head coach Brendon McCullum will also need to make a decision on Shoaib Bashir who made his debut in the second Test and impressed during his time on the field.

He claimed India skipper Rohit Sharma as his first Test wicket and went on to claim four wickets in both innings. In the third Test, the England spinners had a hard time picking wickets.

Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed, and Joe Root combined to claim seven wickets in both innings as pacers led the charge to break crucial partnerships.

The visitors will receive a further boost with skipper Ben Stokes also in contention to bowl in the Ranchi Test which will give them another seam bowling option.

England vice-captain Ollie Pope dropped a hint that Stokes could bowl in the fourth Test and said as quoted from ESPNcricinfo, "There's definitely a chance. He's not confirmed it even in the changing room, so we will see. He bowled at the batters today. We'll see how he pulls up, and if that's good hopefully we will see him with the ball in hand in the game."

India are currently leading the series by 2-1 and will compete in the fourth Test on Friday.


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