Chris Woakes and Mark Wood have been named in England's squad for the fourth Test against India at The Oval, while Jos Buttler misses out due to the expected arrival of his second child. Kent wicket-keeper Sam Billings has been added to the 15-man squad as cover.
England Men’s Head Coach Chris Silverwood has named a 15-player squad for the fourth Test match against India starting at the Oval on Thursday.
Chris Woakes, England's player of the year in 2020, has returned to the Test squad after recovering from a heel injury. He has successfully returned to cricket with Warwickshire second XI last week, and the Vitality Blast T20 quarter-final for Birmingham Bears in their defeat to Kent Spitfires last Friday at Canterbury. Woakes has not played Test cricket for more than 12 months because of a combination of the ECB's rest and rotation policy and a heel injury which ruled him out of the first three Tests of this series.
"It is very pleasing that we have Chris Woakes returning to the Test squad," said England head coach Chris Silverwood.
"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.
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.
"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.
Further, Kent wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings has also been added to the squad replacing Jos Buttler, who will miss the Test with his wife expecting their second child. However. Jonny Bairstow will don the gloves in the absence 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," Silverwood said.