England bowl against India in fourth Test
LONDON, Sept 2, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to field in the fourth Test against India at the Oval on Thursday, with the overcast conditions promising to assist the hosts' quick bowlers.
England made two changes to the side that won the third Test at Headingley by an innings and 76 runs to level the five-match series at 1-1, with batsman Ollie Pope recalled on his Surrey home ground after Jos Buttler withdrew from this match to attend the birth of his second child.
Meanwhile pace bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes returned for his first Test in over a year after England dropped struggling Surrey left-armer Sam Curran.
India also made two changes, dropping Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
Fellow pacemen Shardul Thakur -- who played in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge before suffering a hamstring injury -- was recalled and Umesh Yadav brought in for his first match this series.
That meant there was still no place for Ravichandran Ashwin, with the India off-spinner yet to feature this series despite having taken 413 Test wickets and scored five hundreds.
And there were equally no changes to India's top order, despite the tourists slumping to 78 all out in the first innings at Headingley.
England: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (capt), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson
India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wkt), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG), Alex Wharf (ENG)
TV umpire: Michael Gough (ENG)
Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)