Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes has been named in a 15-player squad for the fourth LV= Insurance Test match against India starting at the Kia Oval on Thursday 2 September 2021.
Woakes returns to the Test squad after recovering from a heel injury. The 32-year-old has successfully returned to cricket with Warwickshire second XI last week, and the Vitality Blast quarter-final for Birmingham Bears in their defeat to Kent Spitfires last Friday at Canterbury.
Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings is added to the squad replacing Jos Buttler, who will miss the Test with his wife expecting their second child.
Seamer Saqib Mahmood returns to Lancashire for their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One match against Warwickshire at Emirates Old Trafford starting on Monday.
The England medical team will continue to assess seamer Mark Wood, who returned to bowling during practice at the end of the Emerald Headingley Test match and is recovering well from his injured right shoulder he sustained during the second Test at Lord’s.
England Men’s Head Coach, Chris Silverwood, said:
“After the victory at Emerald Headingley, the Test series is beautifully poised against a strong India side going into the next Test at the Kia Oval.
“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.
“Mark Wood is making excellent recovery from his jarred right shoulder. He bowled in the middle on the last day at Headingley with our Bowling Coach Jon Lewis and was starting to get through his spells pain-free.
“For the first time in this series, it is pleasing to have several options with our bowling stocks as we approach the latter stages of the series,” said England Men’s Head Coach, Chris Silverwood.
“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.
“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.
“Sam Billings, who was in the Test squad for the New Zealand series earlier this summer, returns as reserve keeper. He understands how we want to approach our cricket and is a popular member of the group. He will fit in well with the rest of the group.”
England will train for the first time at the Kia Oval on Tuesday afternoon.
England Men’s LV= Insurance Fourth Test Squad
Joe Root (Yorkshire) Captain
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Sam Billings (Kent)
Rory Burns (Surrey)
Sam Curran (Surrey)
Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire)
Dan Lawrence (Essex)
Dawid Malan (Yorkshire)
Craig Overton (Somerset)
Ollie Pope (Surrey)
Ollie Robinson (Sussex)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
Mark Wood (Durham)