India in England: Moeen Ali named England vice-captain for fourth Test at the Oval, Chris Woakes returns

All-rounder Moeen Ali has been named England’s vice-captain for their fourth Test against India that starts on Thursday at the Oval. Fast bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes has also been included in the hosts’ 15-man squad for the Test.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said that fast bowler Mark Wood, who did not play in the third Test at Headingley due to injury, is being assessed by the medical team and “is recovering well from his injured right shoulder he sustained during the second Test at Lord’s”.

“After the victory at Headingley, the Test series is beautifully poised against a strong India side going into the next Test at the Oval,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood.

“It is very pleasing that we have Chris Woakes returning to the Test squad. He has bowled well over the past week with Warwickshire without any real concerns with his heel injury. 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,” he further said.

Silverwood also said that Jonny Bairstow will take up wicketkeeping duties in place of Jos Buttler, who will miss the fourth Test with his wife expecting their second child. Sam Billings has been added to the squad in place of Buttler.

“Jonny Bairstow will take over wicketkeeping duties, which he is relishing. As we all know, he has the skills to seamlessly take over from Jos and the ability to score crucial runs in the middle-order if called upon. We would like to wish Jos (Buttler) and his family all the very best for the impending birth of their second child. Unfortunately, he will miss this Test, and we’ll then see if he returns for the final Test at Emirates Old Trafford,” he said.

England 15-man squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali (vice-captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

India Today

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