‘…Will Allow us to Use Him Differently’: Ben Stokes on Mark Wood’s Inclusion for 3rd Test at Rajkot

Mark Wood has come in place of Shoaib Bashir for the  third Test against India at Rajkot. (Image: AFP)

Mark Wood has come in place of Shoaib Bashir for the third Test against India at Rajkot. (Image: AFP)

England skipper, Ben Stokes talked about the inclusion of Mark Wood to the playing eleven for their third Test against India at Rajkot.

As the England side gears up for the third Test against India at Rajkot, the away side has already announced their playing eleven and has made just one change. Youngster Shoaib Bashir has given way for Mark Wood who has returned to the side. The skipper Ben Stokes shared his thoughts on bringing in the extra pace option.

The England captain, Ben Stokes had spoken to the media at the press conference ahead of the Rajkot Test. He believes that the change to bring in Wood was the best option for the side to get the win.

“Bringing in an extra seamer is the option we have gone with because we think that is going to give us the best chance of winning this week. Baz (coach Brendon McCullum) does all the good and bad news and I am there for the players to (have) any further conversations with that,” Stokes added.

READ MORE: On ‘Flat’ Rajkot Pitch, India Expect Spin to Come Into the Picture at Some Point While England Alter Plans 

Stokes also mentioned that his side will be looking to take wickets and with the option of two pacers, it allows his side to go about their plans differently. He commented,”…whenever you’ve got the ball think about taking a wicket every ball…Having an extra seamer this week will allow us to use Woody’s skillset differently to the first game when he was the only seamer.”

The captain was also happy with the performance of James Anderson who had a good performance with the ball. Despite being 41 years old, the pacer managed to bowl 35 overs across both innings in the second Test picking up five wickets as well.

The English captain highlighted, “The way in which James Anderson bowled last week, he showed his class and that he can do it anywhere in the world regardless of the conditions.”

READ MORE: England Cricket Team Reveals Playing for 3rd Test Against India, Make Only One Change 

Stokes was also happy with the way Tom Hartley has performed. The left-arm orthodox bowler was in the spotlight after the debutant had picked up nine wickets in the first Test at Hyderabad to help his side get the win. The captain remains intent on relying on his skills as he has been a threat to the Indian side with both ball and bat.

The skipper concluded by saying, “Tom (Hartley) has performed so, so well on this trip not only with the ball but also with the bat and when someone has confidence like Tom has at the moment, you want to give them the ball as often as you can.”

England’s Playing XI for Third Test vs IND: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson

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