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Will England play Bess in 4th Test?

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
March 02, 2021 11:32 IST
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Dominic Bess had taken five wickets in the first Test against India and could be likely contender for a place in the 4th Test

IMAGE: Dominic Bess had taken five wickets in the first Test against India and could return for the fourth Test after missing the second and third Tests. Photograph: BCCI
 

After losing the second and third Tests, Joe Root and England must be anxious to return to winning ways in the final Test which begins at the N M stadium on Thursday, March 4.

Captain Root and Coach Chris Silverwood made a boo-boo when they picked a pace-heavy attack for the pink ball third Test.

With Jack Leach the lone spinner, Root proved effective, picking up a fifer in the first innings with his harmless off-spinners.

The BCCI have promised a batting track for the final encounter, but Root and Silverwood will be anxious not to err again.

Although the pundits were not pleased with Dominic Bess's bowling in the first Test, the 22-year-old Yorkshireman did pick up five wickets and his county mate -- the English skipper -- may be inclined to pick him for the fourth game.

What about the England batting? Apart from that brief spell in the first innings in the third Test, when England were 72/2 -- with a 50 from Zak Crawley and a little bit of fight from Root -- there was just no perseverance from the other Englishmen, crashing to 112 and 81.

Opener Dominic Sibley hasn't had the best time in the middle with a string of low scores. Will Root and Silverwood pick Rory Burns instead of Sibley?

Returning after a break, Jonny Bairstow, who is appreciated for his skill against spin bowling, looked rusty coming in at No 3. Despite a pair in the third Test, he may stay on for the last match, Root and Silverwood hoping that Jonny will come good..

Ben Stokes hasn't lived up to his billing. Neither have Ollie Pope and wicket-keeper Ben Foakes fired, but all of them are likely to stay on in the middle order unless Dan Lawrence gets Pope's place.

With Bess expected to get a recall, England may rest Jimmy Anderson and Jofra Archer and bring in Mark Wood to partner Stuart Broad.

Root and Silverwood have a lot of thinking in the coming hours while choosing a squad to square the series.

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NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
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Indian Premier League - 2021

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