Curran and Moeen return for England with Bairstow fit as specialist batsman for fourth Test

Surrey left-arm seamer Sam Curran replaces the injured Chris Woakes, who misses out with a thigh issue, while Worcestershire batting all-rounder Moeen Ali replaces Surrey batsman Ollie Pope to play his first Test of the summer


Sam Curran and Moeen Ali come in for England at The Ageas Bowl

Sam Curran and Moeen Ali will replace Chris Woakes and Ollie Pope for the fourth Test against India at The Ageas Bowl on Thursday, England captain Joe Root has confirmed.

Surrey left-arm seamer Sam Curran replaces the injured Chris Woakes while Worcestershire batting all-rounder Moeen Ali, fresh off of a double hundred and eight wickets against Yorkshire, replaces Surrey batsman Ollie Pope to play his first Test of the summer.

Woakes missed training on Tuesday after feeling tightness in his right quad while Pope is dropped after two Tests where he scored 54 runs.

On the selection calls, Root said: "Chris Woakes is not fit to play this week and Ben Stokes has a slight issue so for the balance of the side Moeen Ali comes in for Ollie Pope."

"Moeen Ali has done exactly what you'd want him to do, he's been scoring runs and taking wickets in county cricket and should be full of confidence.

It has also been confirmed that Jos Buttler will take the gloves with Jonny Bairstow serving as a specialist batsman batting at number four.

Root said: "Jos Buttler is going to keep. It’s a lot to ask Jonny to do it with a broken finger, bur he’s fit to bat. We have to do the best thing for this team to win the game. There are no guarantees in international sport.

“He’s [Bairstow] fully aware that it’s a lot to ask him to keep with a slight crack in his finger.

“He’s frustrated and disappointed, he loves doing the job. But that’s part of international sport. You don’t always get what you want.”

England are aiming to bounce back after a 203-run defeat to India at Trent Bridge in the third Test where their batting was heavily criticised.

Root added: "We've bounced back from difficult defeats before and that's the challenge for us to do it again here."

The hosts lead the series 2-1 going into the contest knowing that victory will seal an overall series win with a game to spare. 

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



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