Leeds : England on Wednesday included Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, and Moeen Ali in their playing eleven for the third Ashes 2023 Test, which will be played at Headingley from Thursday. The trio replace James Anderson, Josh Tongue and an injured Ollie Pope as England look to come up from being 2-0 behind in the five-game Ashes series.
As per England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) media release, the fast-bowling duo of Anderson (three wickets in two matches) and Tongue (five wickets in Lord’s Test) are rested while Pope is out of the rest of the series after dislocating his right shoulder in the second Test at Lord’s, where England lost by 43 runs.
In Pope’s absence, Harry Brook has been promoted to number three while Jonny Bairstow will bat at number five. The presence of Woakes and Ali means the England lower-order batting gets a big boost.
The Headingley Test will be Woakes’ first appearance in the longest format of the game under Brendon McCullum’s coaching. Woakes’ last Test outing came against West Indies in March 2022, while his last home Test match came in September 2021.
On the other hand, Wood played two Tests on a victorious 3-0 tour of Pakistan in December 2022, but hasn’t played a first-class match since then. Wood was in consideration for playing at Lord’s, but concerns over his bowling workload meant he didn’t feature in the match.
Wood’s last competitive cricket outing came in April, where he turned out for Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2023. Ali, meanwhile, is back in action after blisters on his right index finger saw him miss out on playing the second Test at Lord’s. The off-spin all-rounder needs two more scalps to reach 200 wickets in Tests.
England playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes (captain) Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad