Cook wins toss, opts to bat first

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iol spt july27 England-India-toss Reuters England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat in the third Test against India at Southampton. Photo by: Philip Brown/Reuters

SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom – England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat in the third Test against India at Southampton on Sunday.

England made three changes from the side beaten by 95 runs in the second Test at Lord's on Monday, a result that put India 1-0 up in the five-match series after the drawn opener at Trent Bridge.

As expected, Lancashire wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was given his Test debut, having already made 69 international limited overs appearances for England.

Buttler's debut was all but assured after experienced gloveman Matt Prior withdrew from international duty for the rest of the season, citing the need to regain full fitness from various injuries following the Lord's Test.

Meanwhile England dropped all-rounder Ben Stokes, who had made six ducks in his last 10 international innings, and fast bowler Liam Plunkett.

Their places were taken by Chris Jordan, who played in both Tests during England's recent 1-0 series defeat at home to Sri Lanka and Chris Woakes, another seam-bowling all-rounder, who made his Test debut in last year's Ashes finale at The Oval.

India made two changes with Ishant Sharma Ä who took a Test-best seven for 74 in England's second innings at Lord's Ä

ruled out with an ankle injury.

Sharma's absence saw India give a Test debut to giant right-arm seamer Pankaj Singh, in what was only the paceman's second international match of any kind after a one-day appearance against Sri Lanka in Harare four years ago.

Meanwhile batsman Rohit Sharma was recalled in place of all-rounder Stuart Binny.

England were looking to end a run of 10 Tests without a win – their worst for more than 20 years – while Cook was trying to overcome a run drought that had seen him go 27 innings without scoring a Test hundred.

This match was only the second Test ever staged at the Rose Bowl after England and Sri Lanka drew a rain-affected match in 2011.

Teams

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wkt), Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, James Anderson

India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt/wkt), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pankaj Singh, Mohammed Shami

Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS) and Marais Erasmus (RSA)

TV umpire: Rob Bailey (ENG)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS) – Sapa-AFP


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