Confirms four changes to playing XI; Woakes or Stone to partner Broad
After announcing four changes to the playing XI, England skipper Joe Root hoped that freshness in the bowling attack could make a difference for his side.
When asked about pacer Olly Stone’s lack of experience outside England, Root said, “In these conditions, freshness is essential when you come into the game. Attack your spell for 3-4 overs, have a real impact and that could work in our favour going into this match.”
Root added that the final decision on whether Chris Woakes or Stone will play alongside Stuart Broad would be made after Friday’s practice.
“We can have a similar balance to the last Test with Stone having the extra bit of pace. With Woakes, we can capitalise on reverse-swing, control and try to build pressure. He also strengthens our batting,” said the English skipper.
Another change to the attack is the return of Moeen Ali in place of Dom Bess and the skipper hopes the former’s experience in these conditions will come in handy. “I’m very excited for him to get this opportunity. He obviously had a rough tour [in Sri Lanka], having to deal with COVID and quarantine but since then has applied himself extremely well.”
Have the talent
Speaking about the win in the first Test, Root said, “The thing that impressed me was how well we implemented our game-plan. We managed to get those big first-innings runs that we often talk about. Hopefully, guys can take confidence from performances like Anderson or Stokes or mine and believe they can deliver those big performances to win the series. We have the talent to do that.”
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