England squad: Ben Stokes has announced that James Anderson will replace Jamie Overton in England’s rescheduled final Test against India, which begins on Friday.
The England captain also confirmed that Ben Foakes is still out as he recovers from Covid, which means Kent’s Sam Billings will continue to bat.
“Unfortunately, Foakesy hasn’t recovered as well as we would have liked,” said Stokes. “So Sam will stay on the team and keep.
“(Foakes) hasn’t really recovered from last week and doesn’t feel like he could give the best account of himself this week. We took the decision out of his hands and said ‘get yourself better.”
Overton’s omission comes after an impressive performance against New Zealand in which he batted 97 as part of a crucial partnership with Jonny Bairstow to spark an England comeback from 55-6.
As England’s record wicket-taker, Anderson, was ruled out of the final game due to injury.
“That’s how sport at the top level works sometimes,” Stokes said. “It must be very disappointing for him but he can walk away knowing he did everything he could.”
Stokes also backed up Kent opener Zak Crawley, who struggled against New Zealand’s bowling attack, managing four single-digit scores between knocks of 43 and 25.
“When we picked the squad before we’d even played a Test match the squad was picked on the basis that every player in every position is the best player in England to carry us forward in the way we want to,” said Stokes.
“This team and this squad are going to be given a lot of time to perform. Zak Crawley is still in my plans, and Brendan’s plans going forward to make this happen. Regardless (of what happens against India).”
Stokes admitted that if any team can play more aggressively, it is this England team as it seeks to turn a corner under Brendon McCullum’s leadership.
“We’ve just beaten the best team in the world 3-0,” he explained. “India is obviously a completely different opposition, a different team dynamic, but we concentrate on ourselves, we understand what we do well.”
“We have also taken into account who we are playing against, but because the opposition changes it doesn’t mean we’re going to change.”
Sharma confirmed the news
With regular skipper Rohit Sharma unavailable due to Covid-19, India’s fifth Test against England will be led by Jasprit Bumrah on Friday.
On the eve of the match, the tourists gave Sharma as much time as possible to return a negative test but announced shortly before 2pm that fast bowler Bumrah would lead the side for the first time.
Rishabh Pant, the wicketkeeper, has also been named vice-captain.
The game concludes last year’s series between the teams, which ended abruptly when India withdrew just a few hours before the scheduled start at Old Trafford due to coronavirus concerns.
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