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AFP
January 22, 2021

Archer, Stokes to give us ‘huge boost’ against India: Root

Sports

AFP
January 22, 2021

COLOMBO: England on Thursday named Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer in the squad for India’s tour next month as skipper Joe Root said the two will be a major boost for the side looking for a crucial series win.

Stokes and Archer have missed England’s recent matches in Sri Lanka as the squad was rotated to allow players to rest during the pandemic.

The star duo along with Rory Burns will be back with the team as England announced a 16-member squad for the opening two of the four Tests in India starting February 5 in Chennai.

England will face an Indian side boosted by their historic Test win in Australia this week, but Root was optimistic despite India’s sensational 2-1 triumph.

“I expect India to be full of confidence and in their own conditions they are a very good team. They play some very good cricket,” he told reporters before of the official announcement.

“We have to be at our absolute best. But that’s an exciting prospect for us, a great opportunity for us, it’s a great way to aid our development as a side.

“And we will be going there fully expecting to try and win that series. But we have got a lot of hard work to do before we get there. We got a big Test match here.”

England lead the two-match series 1-0 in Sri Lanka going into the final Test on Friday in Galle. England have called back fast bowler James Anderson and will rest Stuart Broad for the clash.

Root’s 228 was crucial to winning the opening Test by seven wickets but England’s bowlers twice bowled out the hosts in Galle.

The shuffling of their veteran fast bowlers was the only change made to the team for the second Test. But it is the return of Stokes and Archer for the India series that excites Root.

“You speak to any side in the world, those two guys coming back into it would give the squad a huge boost and it’s certainly the case for us,” said Root.