Moeen Ali, Sam Curran recalled for fourth Test


Moeen Ali and Sam Curran have been recalled for the fourth Test against India, which starts in Southampton on Thursday 30 August, with Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes making way.

The Hampshire Bowl is likely to aid spin, which has prompted England’s selectors to give the nod to Moeen alongside Adil Rashid, who’s been the lone spinner for the first three Tests.

Moeen furthered his chances by performing stunningly in Worcestershire’s County Championship fixture against Yorkshire, scoring 219 and taking match figures of 8/89 to power his side to a mammoth innings-and-186-run victory.

Curran had played in the first two Tests of the five-match series, but lost his place at Trent Bridge to accommodate the returning Ben Stokes. Curran had been exceptional in the first Test at Edgbaston where he earned the Player of the Match award for a spell of 4/74 and a crucial knock of 63.

Moeen last played a Test in March against New Zealand, but was dropped after a string of poor performances throughout the English winter, including England’s disappointing Ashes series.

Woakes stepped up brilliantly in the absence of Stokes in the second Test at Lord’s after returning from injury, making contributions with bat – he scored a maiden Test hundred – and ball to be named Player of the Match. The Warwickshire seamer kept his place for the third Test but missed training this week due to a right thigh injury, which has ruled him out of the trip to Southampton.

Pope, meanwhile, scored 28, 10 and 16 during his two Tests, and his absence is likely to see Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes batting and No.4 and No.5 respectively.

England have confirmed that Jos Buttler will keep wicket, with Bairstow playing as a specialist batsman. The Yorkshireman had returned to training on Tuesday for the first time since breaking his finger during the third Test.

England team for fourth Test versus India: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.