England captain Joe Root has said England are yet to take a decision to rest the seamers for the fifth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester. He said it will be taken after discussions with the medical staff and the fast bowlers themselves.
England seamers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson have bowled 163.3 and 166.2 overs respectively in the series so far. With the Old Trafford Test coming hot on the heels of the last game, there have been suggestions to rotate England’s pace battery. Management might look to rotate the pacers and possibly rest one of Anderson or Robinson in Manchester.
Commenting on the same, Joe Root said:
“That’s something that we will weigh up over the next couple of days. Two days are really important for recovery and making sure that they are in a position to play Test cricket. One thing you have to do is trust the medical advisors, speak to the guys that understand the science behind this and also speak to the players as well. You don’t want to go in a Test match playing someone under the risk of injury and you want to make sure you do the best thing for the player.”
Root further added that the final call will be taken while keeping in mind a lot of factors and most importantly to ensure that England don’t go into the final Test with a less than 100 percent seamer.
“Also, you don’t want to go in a Test match and someone goes down injured and you have got one less bowler at your disposal as well. There are a number of things to factor in and of course we will make sure that we feel very confident that everyone is fitter, take the field and to put in a Test worthy performance aa well and when it comes around to selecting a team for this game.”
Mark Wood should slot back into playing XI for the Old Trafford Test after having recovered from a shoulder injury but it will be interesting to see who the Durham pacer replaces in the line-up. Will he replace Craig Overton, who had an underwhelming outing in the last Test or will one of Ollie Robinson or James Anderson make way for him is something that remains to be seen.
‘I’m sure he will be desperate to take the opportunity if there is one’ – Joe Root on Jack Leach
England have added left-arm orthodox Jack Leach to their squad for the Old Trafford Test.
Leach, who had a sensational outing during England’s winter tours of Sri Lanka and India earlier this year, is yet to feature in a Test match this summer.
The left-arm spinner wasn’t a part of the English squad for the Oval Test as he was released to play county fixtures for Somerset.
Root believes that playing county cricket would have benefited Leach. He is also confident that if given the opportunity to play in Manchester, Leach will grab it with both hands.
The England captain hinted that the home side might look to play two spinners at Old Trafford. However, Root asserted that Moeen Ali remains their first-choice spinner and Leach will only get a spot in the playing XI if England go down the route of playing two spinners.
“I think it’s really benefits him that he went away and played some cricket. It’s really important that he got the opportunity to do that and I think he’ll be better prepared coming into the squad. And I’m sure that he will be desperate to take the opportunity if there is one.”
“I have not seen the pitch as yet, you can sometimes here at Old Trafford, it can spin and that could be an option we have to look at with two spinners. He has done some fine things for England, look at how he performed last winter and before that. We know what he is capable of and we know he is a fine player.”
“I’d say Moeen Ali is our first spinner, yes.”
The fifth Test between England and India will kickstart in Manchester on September 10.