England bowler James Anderson shone in the first Test
James Anderson and Dom Bess will miss England’s second Test versus India in Chennai, captain Joe Root said as he announced four changes to the side that opened the series with a win.
Anderson, 38, impressed for the tourists in the first Test but will be rested with a view to ensuring the bowler’s fitness for the third match, which will be played under floodlights.
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Bess is dropped, and an elbow injury will keep Jofra Archer out of the second Test.
Jos Buttler is also being rested for the match, which begins on Saturday.
Moeen Ali has been brought in to the 12-man squad to replace Bess, while Anderson’s place is set to be a shoot-out between Olly Stone and Chris Woakes. Stuart Broad has been called upon, as has Ben Foakes.
Of the decision to drop Bess, Root said: “It was a very difficult conversation.”
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“It always is when you leave a player out and especially so when it’s someone like Dom who has contributed well and gives absolutely everything every time he pulls an England shirt on. It’s been made very clear what he needs to go away and work on and he’s taken that on board.”
The 23-year-old has taken 17 wickets in England’s three Tests this year, including India captain Virat Kohli in the previous match, but has been inconsistent and appeared to dramatically lose his radar in the second innings.
“I’m sure he’ll come back with questions,” Root added, “and I’m sure he will be disappointed but that’s what you expect from guys that really care and want to be out there all the time, performing for their country.
“He’s got a very good attitude. He’s still very much at the start of his career and he’ll use this as an opportunity to get better.”
As for Moeen, whose red-ball career went into an unexpected hiatus after he was dropped one game into the last Ashes series, Root was enthusiastic about the recall.
“He’s a fine competitor and he’ll get himself into the heat of the battle. We know he can produce special things in an England shirt, in a Test shirt,” he said.
“I’m very excited for him to get this opportunity. He’s worked really hard and obviously had a rough tour having to deal with Covid and quarantine. Since then he’s applied himself really well, worked very well with the other spinners and been a very good senior pro in that respect. I’m sure he’ll be delighted to get this opportunity to play.”
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