Chris Woakes gets back to England squad for the Oval Test against India

ICC/ Twitter

England called back Chris Woakes for the fourth Test against India at the Oval while Jos Buttler will miss the match as his wife expecting their second newborn child.

England has announced to play Chris Woakes in the fourth Test against India at the Oval. Jos Buttler is set to miss the fourth Test as his wife is expecting a child. Meanwhile, the Kent wicket-keeper, Sam Billings has been added to the 15 member squad as a cover.

Woakes who has been the player of the year for England in 2020 has not played Test cricket for more than a year as part of ECB’s rest and rotation policy and a heel injury interrupted him from playing the first three Tests against India.

He is a complete fit comeback and also took part in Warwickshire’s 2nd XI last week as well as in their T20 Blast quarter-final on Friday evening. 

“It is very pleasing that we have Chris Woakes returning to the Test squad,”

head coach Chris Silverwood said. 

“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.”

Silverwood confirmed that Jonny Bairstow will keep wickets at the Oval, however; they have added Sam Billings, who is yet to make a Test debut to the squad in case of any injury or illness.

It is not yet confirmed that Buttler will return to the Test squad for the final Test against India at Emirates Old Trafford, which starts from Friday, 10 September.

“We would like to wish Jos and his family all the very best for the impending birth of their second child,”

Silverwood said. 

“Unfortunately, he will miss this Test, and we’ll then see if he returns for the final Test. 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.”

Considering the situation that Billings will not play Oval’s Test, Billings will join England’s squad on Thursday after completing Kent’s County Championship match against Leicestershire.

Buttler’s absence means Ollie Pope or Dan Lawrence, who are set to play the first two days of Essex’s Championship match against Glamorgan, will fill the position at the middle order.

The other player to fill the absence in the squad was Saqib Mahmood to whom Woakes has replaced. Mahmood will continue playing for Lancashire in their County Championship game against Warwickshire. 

Meanwhile, Mark Wood is expected to play the fourth Test after recovering from a jarred shoulder that he suffered while fielding at Lord’s.

“Mark Wood is making an excellent recovery from his jarred right shoulder,”

Silverwood said. 

“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. For the first time in this series, it is pleasing to have several options with our bowling stocks as we approach the latter stages of the series.”

Also learn about: Rohit Sharma give thoughts on Pujara’s batting