Woakes returns to England squad, Buttler to miss fourth Test

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London, Aug 30 (IANS) England all-rounder Chris Woakes will return to the squad for the fourth match against India beginning September 2 at The Oval, after recovering from a heel injury.

While Woakes’ return is a welcome boost for England, they will be without the services of Jos Buttler. The wicketkeeper-batsman is awaiting the birth of his second child, and has been replaced in the squad by Sam Billings.

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England head coach Chris Silverwood said the seamer would further strengthen their pace unit while also offering value with the bat.

“It is very pleasing that we have Chris Woakes returning to the Test squad,” said Silverwood. “He is an asset we have been missing both with the ball and his ability to score runs in the middle order. We are looking forward to seeing him prepare at the Oval as we go into back-to-back Tests.”

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Saqib Mahmood has been released from the squad, with Mark Wood recovering well from the injured right shoulder he sustained during the second Test.

“Mark Wood is making excellent recovery from his jarred right shoulder,” said Silverwood. “He bowled in the middle on the last day at Headingley with our bowling coach Jon Lewis and was starting to get through his spells pain-free.

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“For the first time in this series, it is pleasing to have several options with our bowling stocks as we approach the latter stages of the series,” he added.

England squad for the fourth Test: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

–IANS

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