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England make one change in XI for 5th Test vs India: Mark Wood replaces Ollie Robinson

India vs England 5th Test: There was only one change in England’s pace-bowling department with Mark Wood coming in place of Ollie Robinson

England decided not to tinker too much with their playing XI for the fifth and final Test of the series against India at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, starting Thursday. There was only one change in the pace-bowling department with Mark Wood coming in place of Ollie Robinson, who looked out of sorts in the fourth Test in Ranchi. The Ben Stokes-led side resisted the temptation of trying out three pacers and decided to stick with two specialist spinners.

England’s Mark Wood(AFP)

Shoaib Bashir, who is nursing a sore spinning finger, and Tom Hartley, have come of age in their debut series and will be the two specialist spinners. Veteran seamer James Anderson, 41, retains his place and is just two shy of becoming the third bowler to take 700 Test wickets after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and the late Australian great Shane Warne (708).

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England have already lost the series, their first in the ‘Bazball’ era, but there is still plenty to play for before they return home after a long tour.

Jonny Bairstow’s 100th Test milestone will be celebrated through the week and by the looks of it, the England cricketers are enjoying in this scenic town with the cold weather adding to their comfort.

The right-hander has been well below par in the series and would be aiming to make his 100th Test outing an unforgettable one by regaining his lost form.

England fans have also arrived here in big numbers, giving the players another reason to come up with a special performance.

“I don’t think that anyone is thinking like that,” Ben Stokes said on Tuesday when asked if players are already thinking about returning home.

“We feel every opportunity to play for England is special. That’s just our mentality and our mindset, regardless of where you are, or how long you’ve been away. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that this place is pretty special,” the skipper told the travelling British media.

The weather in Dharamsala could play a huge part in the match. The picturesque ground is surrounded by snow-capped peaks at an altitude of 1,317 metres (4,320 feet).

There is a risk of sleet and forecasts say temperatures could plunge as low as 1 Celsius (34 Fahrenheit) on Thursday.

England XI for 5th Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (capt), Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir


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