IND vs ENG, England Playing XI 4th Test: Dom Bess all set to be included in playing XI- After being dropped from the squad for 2nd and 3rd Test, Dom Bess is all set to come back to the squad and play a major in the 4th Test against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, beginning March 4.
With Moeen Ali sent back home due to England’s rotation policy, skipper Joe Root played the second spinner’s role in the 3rd Test with Jack Leach leading from the front. While Root exceeded expectation scalping five wickets to give England a fighting chance, the absence of a specialist second spinner was felt.
England’s thought process was that the pink-ball to have some movements for seamers that proved wrong. Now that the Test returns to traditional red cherry and the SG ball goes soft sooner than the pink version, a second spinner could play a crucial role. Jeetan Patel, who was appointed as England’s full-time spin-bowling coach on Monday, hinted at Bess’ return to the playing XI.
“I think he’s in very good spirits. It’s fair to say he was a bit disappointed he wasn’t selected in that third Test that’s just gone, but the feeling was that the pink ball would react differently and it didn’t go the way we thought it would go. We had a plan and it didn’t quite work, so that’s okay,” Patel told the media.
Bess, an off-spinner, has been left in the shadows of Ali with Leach preferred as a left-arm spinner option. But the 23-year-old has proved himself well, scalping 17 wickets in three Tests against Sri Lanka. He was also successful in the first Test against India, bagging five wickets.
“I think Dom’s pretty good. I spoke to him yesterday, and he’s in a very good state, actually. He knows that this last Test match is a big Test match for England: to go 2-2 in this series, through four Test matches, would be a fantastic effort,” Patel told the media.
Which pacer to be dropped?
In the 3rd Test, Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Jofra Archer spearheaded England’s pacer attack but were largely unsuccessful as they combined bagged only one wicket and bowled only 25 overs. In addition, in Ben Stokes, England have a 4th pacer in the squad.
But with Bess set to make a return, one pacer is expected to be dropped and Anderson is likely the candidate as England could choose to rest him. At 38, Anderson is the oldest member of the England squad. Hence, to keep him fit and fresh, England have already opted to rotate the squad. That might be the case once again come March 4.