England’s Bairstow to play with fractured finger in fourth test against India

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Jonny Bairstow was selected to play as a specialist batsman in England’s fourth test against India even though he fractured a finger while keeping wicket in the third-test loss.

England also recalled Sam Curran, who featured in the first two tests against India, and Moeen Ali in the team announced on Wednesday.

Jos Buttler will take over as wicketkeeper for the test at the Ageas Bowl, which starts on Thursday, after Bairstow fractured the middle finger of his left hand last week.

“It’s a lot to ask Jonny to do it with a broken finger, he’s fit to bat,” captain Joe Root told reporters. “We have to do the best thing for this team to win the game.

“There are no guarantees in international sport. We’ve bounced back from difficult defeats before and that’s the challenge for us to do it again here.”

Surrey seamer Curran replaces Chris Woakes, who missed training on Tuesday after feeling tightness in his right quad.

Ali, who is expected to contribute with bat and ball, has been recalled in place of Ollie Pope in the lineup.

India won the Trent Bridge test to narrow England’s lead to 2-1 after three matches of the five-game series.

England XI: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.