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Mark Wood joins James Anderson as England field two pacers in 3rd Test vs India, Rehan Ahmed included after visa issue

Rehan Ahmed has been included in the playing XI despite facing issues with his visa after England returned from Abu Dhabi for the third Test.

England will be playing with two pacers for the first time in the ongoing five-Test series against India as they named both Mark Wood and James Anderson in their playing XI for the third match in Rajkot, scheduled to start on Thursday. Spinner Rehan Ahmed also finds a place in the squad despite him being the latest to face issues with his visa after he returned to India with the rest of the squad from Abu Dhabi, where they spent the time they got between the second and third Tests.

Ben Stokes will be playing his 100th Test. (REUTERS)

Wood replaces spinner Shoaib Bashir, who had made his debut in the second Test in Visakhapatnam. India won the match by 106 runs, thus levelling the series 1-1 after England stunned them in the first Test, coming from well behind the game to win it by 28 runs. Captain Ben Stokes will be playing his 100th Test. He will be the third player in the squad to reach the milestone after Joe Root and Anderson.

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Rehan’s participation in the match was under the shroud of doubt as he faced issues with his visa upon his return to India. However, the issues have reportedly been solved now and he will be England’s second spin option along with Tom Hartley, with Root serving as the third spinner. Rehan and Hartley have been thrust to the fore after senior spinner Jack Leach was ruled out of the series due to injury.

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

More to come…


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