India vs England, 4th Test: Joe Root expects clean bill of health after sickness bug hit touring party

Will Macpherson
·3-min read
<p>Joe Root and Mark Wood prepare for the a key test</p> (BCCI)

Joe Root and Mark Wood prepare for the a key test

(BCCI)

Joe Root says England expect to have a clean bill of health for the final Test against India on Thursday after a sickness bug laid members of the touring party low between matches.

England are 2-1 down in the series after losing the Third Test by 10 wickets inside two days.

Since, they have had a sickness bug in the camp, but the whole squad trained on Tuesday and Root expects to have a full complement of players available. Players have overcome the illness, which appears to have been particularly problematic at the weekend.

Assistant coach Paul Collingwood is among those to have struggled, but he was also involved at training on Tuesday.

“There’s been a little bit of stuff flying around,” said Root. “We’ll keep monitoring it. To be honest I don’t know exactly who’s been affected badly at this stage but it’s just really important we try and give everyone the best chance of being available for selection ahead of this game.

“Everyone’s trained today, everyone’s been in to practice so we’ll monitor it and try and make sure it’s not a problem.

“At the minute, everyone’s seems to be okay. We’ll keep tabs on things going into the game.”

England will make changes to their side on a pitch that they expect to spin lavishly once more. They played four seamers, hoping the pink ball would swing, but seam took just two of the 30 wickets to fall. Root himself took career-best figures of five wickets for eight runs in Ahmedabad.

As a result, Dom Bess looks set to return a recall, two games after he was left out for Moeen Ali and told to work on his game by Root, despite having 17 wickets at an average of 23 this winter. The captain said that there was “no comparison” between the bowling abilities of a specialist like Bess and his part-timers.

England players inspect the pitchBCCI
England players inspect the pitchBCCI

“I think if the pitch looks anything like the last one, he’ll be licking his lips at the opportunity,” said Root. “He is certainly in contention for selection and he is a very skilful young player that is very ambitious and will be desperate if he gets his chance to make his mark.

“You look at the side for last match – we got that wrong, we read the pitch wrong, in terms of the way we selected the team – we looked at the conditions and how the ball had behaved and the previous pink ball Test in India and we got it wrong. We didn’t envisage it to spin as much.

“If the pitch is anything like the last one of course Dom would be a fantastic option on this surface and I am sure he will have looked at how the guys have performed and seen someone like myself and having an impact with the ball and he’ll be very excited – his skill levels are far above mine. He will be very much looking forward to bowling on it.

“There’s no question – there is not a comparison between me and Dom, he is a far more talented bowler than me. He’s got 17 wickets already this winter and definitely if he is in the side he is above me in the pecking order.

“It was nice to contribute last time but if we play two spinners they’ll be doing the bulk of the bowling because that is what they are picked to do and they are far more skilled than I am.”

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