Root and England to weigh risk of playing Anderson and Robinson in must-win final Test

By Sports Desk September 08, 2021

Joe Root and England will weigh up over the next couple of days whether to risk James Anderson and Ollie Robinson for the must-win final Test with India.

England head into the fifth Test at Old Trafford 2-1 down in the series after India produced another stirring comeback to prevail by 157 runs at The Oval.

It puts Root in the unenviable position of having to measure the risk against the potential reward of salvaging the series, with Anderson and Robinson having taken on the majority of the workload in the attack.

The absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is taking time away from the game to focus on his mental health, and the injured Jofra Archer, as well as fitness issues for Mark Wood, has led to Anderson (163.3) and Robinson (166.2) bowling 329.5 overs between them.

Robinson is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 21 while Anderson has been similarly impressive, claiming 15 dismissals, but the latter is 39 and management of his playing time is key with The Ashes coming in Australia in December.

Root, who confirmed that Jos Buttler would return as his vice-captain and keep wicket after missing the fourth Test for the birth of his second child, and the selectors have yet to come to a decision on the make-up of the attack.

"That's something that we will weigh up over the next couple of days, these two days are really important for recovery, making sure they're in a position to play Test cricket," he told a media conference. 

"You have to trust the medical advice that's been given and also speak to the players as well, they know their own bodies better than anyone else.

"You never want to go into a Test match putting someone under risk of injury, you want to make sure you do the best thing for a player but you also you don't want to go into a Test match, have someone go down injured and you've one less bowler at your disposal. 

"There are a number of things to factor in, we'll make sure we feel very confident that everyone is fit to take the field and put in a Test-worthy performance when it comes round to selecting a team for this game."

While Robinson and Anderson have excelled with the ball, Root has been the sole standout with the bat for England, racking up 564 runs including three hundreds in a sparkling series for the world's number one Test batsman.

Though openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed have each scored a pair of half-centuries, no other player in the side has a ton this series, with Root believing clarity of thought is key to his team-mates changing that fact.

"It's not something that I've always got right, there's been long periods of my career where I was very guilty of getting in and getting out and it might happen again in the future, I really hope it doesn't," Root added. 

"What I have managed to do well so far this year is I know how I want to score my runs, I know where my big strengths are, I just back them completely. Trusted my decision-making under pressure, not doubted it, and when I have got in I've felt like I've had that mindset of 'it's going to take something very special to get me out'.

"Hopefully that can be infectious and feed through the rest of the batting group. It just takes that one person to go on and do it, it can very quickly spread like wildfire and feed into the rest of the group. Hopefully that can materialise this week."

Related items

  • Livingstone shines once more as Kings close IPL season by defeating Hyderabad Livingstone shines once more as Kings close IPL season by defeating Hyderabad

    Punjab Kings closed their 2022 Indian Premier League season with a five-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mumbai.

    Liam Livingstone led the way for the Kings with an impressive knock of 49 from 22 balls as they condemned Hyderabad to a sixth defeat in seven matches with four overs to spare.

    Hyderabad won the toss and elected to bat first in the final match of the regular season, which pitted two teams that had failed to qualify for the play-offs.

    Despite the early dismissal of Priyam Garg for just four, Abhishek Sharma (43) and Rahul Tripathi (20) moved Hyderabad to 61-1 before the latter was caught at short fine leg.

    Aiden Markram (21), Washington Sundar (25) and Romario Shepherd (26 not out) added further contributions to the cause of Hyderabad, who set a target of 157-8.

    Jonny Bairstow (23) made the early running for the Kings before he was bowled by Fazalhaq Farooqi.

    Shahrukh Khan (19) and Mayank Agarwal (one) went in the space of two overs, but the 41-run partnership of Livingstone and Shikhar Dhawan put the Kings well in control.

    Despite Dhawan going for 39 to Farooqi, Livingstone was not to be moved as he hit four boundaries during the 15th over (two sixes and two fours) against Shepherd to move his side to the brink of victory, which was secured when Prerak Mankad hit the rope with his very first ball.

    Livingstone does the damage

    Once again, Livingstone produced an inspired batting display for the Kings with his knock of 49, including five sixes, although he narrowly missed out on a fifth half-century of the season, which would have moved him level with David Warner (five).

    Meanwhile, only Jos Buttler (37) bettered his tally of 34 sixes during the regular campaign.

    Three wickets for Brar

    While Livingstone led the way from the crease, Harpreet Brar shone with the ball.

    The spinner took three important wickets to stop Hyderabad in their tracks; ending Sharma and Tripathi's 47-run partnership by dismissing the latter, and finishing with an impressive 3-26 from his four overs.

  • Pujara returns to India squad for rescheduled England Test Pujara returns to India squad for rescheduled England Test

    Cheteshwar Pujara has been rewarded with a return to the India squad for the rearranged fifth Test against England in July after a fine spell in the County Championship.

    India, led by Virat Kohli, were 2-1 up in the five-match Test series in England before the tourists were unable to field a team due to coronavirus-related concerns in September.

    The one-off Test starts at Edgbaston on July 1, following a four-day warm-up game against Leicestershire on June 24, and India have named their 17-man red-ball squad.

    Pujara was dropped for the home Test series against Sri Lanka but has been reinstated after managing 720 runs in eight innings for Sussex – including four centuries – in County Championship Division Two.

    Ravindra Jadeja is also part of the touring party despite pulling out of the ongoing Indian Premier League due to a rib injury, while Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill retained their spots.

    Rohit Sharma will lead the Test side after Kohli, who remains in the squad, stepped down as captain following the 2-1 series defeat to South Africa earlier this year.

    Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead the bowling attack, which includes Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and the uncapped Prasidh Krishna.

    Ajinkya Rahane was not available for selection after sustaining a hamstring injury, while openers Mayank Agarwal and Priyank Panchal were the other two left out from the Sri Lanka series.

    Meanwhile, Rohit, Kohli and Bumrah were all rested for the home five-match T20I series against South Africa, which starts on June 9.

    KL Rahul will skipper the white-ball side in Sharma's absence, with fast bowler Umran Malik handed a maiden call-up after impressing in the IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

    The experienced Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik return to the international limited-overs squad, while spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal make their comebacks after taking the IPL by storm.

    Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda and Shreyas Iyer all retain their spots, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar heading a bowling attack that includes Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh.

    India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

    India’s T20I squad: KL Rahul (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

  • Cornwall finishes off Red Force to hand Leewards big win Cornwall finishes off Red Force to hand Leewards big win

    Leeward Islands Hurricanes spinner Rahkeem Cornwall produced a solid spell of his own to end the T&T Red Force resistance and secure a 187-run win in the West Indies Championship at the Diego Martin Complex.

    The Red Force began the day behind the 8 ball, facing a deficit of 316 runs and with six wickets already lost.  Yannic Cariah, who resume the day on 37, however, did his best to keep T&T in the contest eventually going on to score a gritty 100 from 180 balls.

    His overnight partner Bryan Charles only managed to add 16 to his total before being Cornwall’s first victim, caught by Amir Jangoo.

    Anderson Phillip’s stay at the crease lasted just five deliveries as he was dismissed for 4, undone lbw by Hayden Walsh Jr.  Jayden Seales partnered with Cariah to put on 86 for the 9th wicket but Cornwall ended the partnership when he accounted for the valuable wicket of Cariah who was caught by Kieron Powell.  The innings was brought to an end when Seales was dismissed on 33 by Sheeno Berridge.  Overall Cornwall ended with second-innings figures of 4 for 50.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.