England win toss, decide to bat first against India in Ranchi Test; Akash Deep to make debut

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RANCHI (Jharkhand) : Ben Stokes’ England have won the toss and decided to bat first against Rohit Sharma-led India in the fourth Test match at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday.

Bowler Akash Deep to make his debut for India in Ranchi as he was handed his first Test cap by Rahul Dravid. The 27-year-old is the 313th player to play Test cricket for India.

Not only is this India’s chance of handing England’s ‘Bazball’ flag-bearers skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum their first-ever series loss since they first paired up back in mid-2022 but plenty of milestones could also be established in the match. The series is currently in the hands of India by 2-1.

While speaking at the toss, Ben Stokes said that the fourth Test match will be important for them since they are trailing the series by 2-1.

“We will bat first. 2-1 down, a bit more important in the context of the series, but every game is important. The first one hour will give an idea about how the pitch will play, but it was always going to be a bat-first track. My bowling is coming off well, it’s been a long time coming. I’m happy with the way we’ve operated throughout the series and looking forward to more of the same,” Stokes said.

On the other hand, India skipper Rohit Sharma said that the pitch in Ranchi looked a bit dry on Friday.

“We would have batted first as well. Looks a bit dry and has some cracks, but that’s the nature of the pitch here. The last two games were good for us and we’ll have to play in the same way. Proud of a lot of young guys in the squid, they’ve taken the responsibility and have taken the challenge head-on. They are confident in their skills, moving forward, it’s a good thing for us going forward. One change with Akash Deep making his debut,” Rohit said.

India Playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Jurel (Wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Akash Deep, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.

England Playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (Wk), Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, Shoaib Bashir, James Anderson. (ANI)

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