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Mark Wood Makes Comeback for Third Test in Rajkot

Mark Wood has been brought back into England’s attack, replacing off-spinner Shoaib Bashir. This was done to confirm England’s team for the third Test against India, which starts on Thursday in Rajkot.

As the only fast bowler, Wood helped England win the first Test in Hyderabad, but he didn’t get any wickets because the field didn’t work well with his fast pace. But he has been called back to play with James Anderson, who did a great job by taking five wickets at Visakhapatnam last week on a field that looked more green before the game.

Bashir won’t play because he took four wickets on his debut in the second Test. He is the only change to the starting XI. It means that England will play two seamers for the first time in the series. In the last two games, they have mostly used spin bowlers.

Rehan Ahmed’s Visa Issue Resolved

After the team’s mid-series break in Abu Dhabi, Rehan Ahmed faced visa issues returning to India, threatening his participation in this match. That issue resolved.

Stokes said England was confident Rehan’s paperwork would be approved in time for the third Test and supported the 19-year-old legspinner to continue from the first two.

“It’s usually stressful, but we survived this morning. First, the airport staff gave him his visa swiftly, and the BCCI and government worked fast to process it. No more worries regarding those difficulties.

Rehan Ahmed’s Visa Issue Resolved

Stokes and McCullum Opt for Extra Seamer

“We were certain we would acquire Rehan’s visa before the game. No consideration was given to not playing him this week. Youth take everything in stride, and I thought he handled a circumstance that could have harmed many people quite well for such a young youngster.

“He’s done well in his Test matches so far and attempted to deliver on all we’ve requested. I hope he gets another game this week.”

Stokes and Brendon McCullum chose Wood after one last look at the ground on Wednesday. They were convinced by pitch cracks they believe will cause inconsistent bounce during the Test.

Stokes and McCullum Opt for Extra Seamer

Otherwise, they expect a surface akin to the 2016 series’ high-scoring draw.

“I know it was a very long time ago when we played here, but it looks a good wicket,” remarked Stokes. “It looked English yesterday. Things are different today. The team’s future was uncertain until today when we decided to go with two seamers.


1 Zak Crawley, 2 Ben Duckett, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Ben Stokes (capt), 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Rehan Ahmed, 9 Tom Hartley, 10 Mark Wood, 11 James Anderson

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