England have announced their team for the third Specsavers test against India at Trent Bridge, which starts tomorrow (August 18).
Captain Joe Root has confirmed that Ben Stokes will return to the side replacing Sam Curran in the only change from the team that was victorious at Lord’s.
Stuart Broad keeps his place in the side on his home ground in a game where England can wrap up the series with a win.
On the decision to recall Stokes, Root said: "It was one of the most difficult selections I’ve had to make as captain.
“The difficult part is that the fact that everyone is performing so well, and I think some people would see it as the easy option to leave Sam out, but he’s offered so much to this bowling group.
“It’s about us as a squad performing collectively for five games and he’s played a massive part in the first two, it might be that he comes back in later on.
“On this occasion Sam is unfortunate to miss out but what he’s done so far has been nothing short of high class.”
Root assured that he Stokes was in the right frame of mind to take to the field at Trent Bridge following the conclusion of his court case.
"I sat him down last night, just me and him, and I asked him if he was in the right place to play for England and he assured me that he's ready to perform at his best," he said.
“I’ve known Ben from being quite young and I feel very confident that he’ll be able to go out and put on a really strong performance.
“He’s been a fine performer for us for a long period of time and you don’t want to leave someone like Ben out – he offers so much to this group, and on and off the field he’s a big part of this team.
“He looks fresh and raring to go which is a promising sign after the way he performed at Edgbaston.”
England could wrap up the series win over India with victory in Nottingham and despite the context surrounding the third test, Root assured that his side is focused on the task at hand.
“My focus has always been on making sure the 11 players that we take onto the field are ready to perform for this team,” he said.
“As a team now, we’ve got to make sure we have five days of good, solid cricket.
“We’ve got a huge opportunity in front of us but ultimately, we’ve got to start well on the first morning and carry that forward.”
After Jimmy Anderson’s nine wickets in the convincing win at Lord’s, the Lancashire seamer is on the cusp of breaking a number of records.
The 36-year-old needs just one wicket to become the first quick bowler to take 100 test wickets against a single team and is ten short of becoming the leading test wicket taker among fast bowlers, overtaking Australian great Glenn McGrath.
Root believes that being so close to such records shows just how vital Anderson is to England.
“Whether it happens now or further down the line, I think there’s no disputing that Jimmy is one of the best bowlers of all time, not just in this generation but since the games began,” he said.
“It shows just how valuable he is to this team – leading the attack and giving the guys around him the opportunity to learn from.”
On the other hand, India are looking to bounce back from a humbling defeat at Lord’s in a test they must win to keep their series hopes alive.
The visitor’s talisman Virat Kohli knows that the only option is to win in Nottingham.
“The only option is to win this game and nothing else,” he said.
“It’s actually a good situation to be in because you have no room to think about anything apart from what the team requires from you at that particular moment.
“It’s up to the individuals to stand up, go out there and make a difference and do what is required for the team.”
In the defeat at Lord’s Kohli was visibly struggling with a back problem but the batsman has shook off the injury to be fit.
“I’m feeling absolutely fine,” he said.
“It’s been an issue that’s been coming on and off again; I got it in 2011 first time and with the workload it happens.
“A bit of strengthening, ample rest and proper rehab gets me back into shape and I’ve had it a few times before, so I know how to handle it.”
England team to face India in the third Specsavers test match: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (w), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
England play India in the third Specsavers Test Match at Trent Bridge from 18 - 22 August. Secure your seats from £20 by clicking here...