Mohammed Shami not playing: Both the teams have made a couple of changes to their Playing XI for the fourth Test at The Oval.
During the first day of the fourth Test of the ongoing India’s tour of England at The Oval, England captain Joe Root has won the toss and chose to field.
“We’re going to bowl first. Going to make use of the overhead conditions. Looks like a good morning for bowling. We need to still hit the right lines and lengths like we did at Headingley,” Root told Sky Sports at the toss.
Despite coming on the back of a massive victory in Leeds, England have made a couple of changes to their Playing XI. Root, who had talked about both vice-captain Jos Buttler and all-rounder Sam Curran during the post-match presentation ceremony at Headingley, has had to include replacements for them in Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes.
While Pope is playing a Test after almost three months, Woakes will take the field England in whites after more than a year. Readers must note that all-rounder Moeen Ali will be playing the role of Root’s deputy in this match.
Why is Mohammed Shami not playing today at The Oval?
Much like Root, India captain Virat Kohli also wanted to bowl first to make the most of the overcast conditions. Having said that, Kohli expressed no issues at being asked to bat first.
“We would have bowled first as well but toss isn’t something you can control. Need to be prepared for either. We’re looking forward to putting runs on the board. For us, it’s about partnerships, we can’t focus too much on individuals. The opening partnerships have been good, it’s about getting more partnerships,” Kohli told Sky Sports at the toss.
First day, first session. So crucial for both teams. More so India, put in to bat in what looks favourable conditions for bowlers. Anderson, Robinson on song, Overton was threatening at Leeds and Woakes, England’s best last year, is back. Big test for India’s batsmen
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) September 2, 2021
Is Shami injured?
Just like the hosts, the visitors have also made a couple of changes to their Playing XI today as fast bowlers Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav have been included as like-for-like replacements for Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
“Two changes – Ishant [Sharma] and [Mohammed] Shami have niggles – Umesh [Yadav] and Shardul [Thakur] are back,” Kohli added. It is worth mentioning that a niggle is a minor injury or discomfort which prevents a player from being 100% fit for a match.