James Vince included in England Test squad for fourth Test against India

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Middle-order batsman James Vince, who was dropped from England’s Test squad after their tours of Australia and New Zealand over the winter, has been included in the squad for the fourth Test against India in Southampton.

He has been called up as cover for Jonny Bairstow, who is suffering from a broken finger. Jamie Porter, a non-playing member of the first three Test squads, has not been selected this time.

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Vince has had a great run of form with the bat this season for Hampshire, averaging above 50 in Division One of the County Championship, and just this week he hit 147 and 74 in a win against Nottinghamshire.

If Bairstow is passed fit to play in Southampton on Thursday 4 August in Southampton, then he is likely to pass the gloves to Jos Buttler and retain his place in the team as a specialist batsman.

James Vince scored 76 against New Zealand in his last Test outing for England

Should Vince be drafted into the side, he will be looking to better his average of 24.9 in Tests, and further a Test career that has yielded three half-centuries in 13 outings – two of these away in Australia and the other in the last Test he played for England against New Zealand in March.

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“The selection panel felt this was the right time to reintroduce James Vince to the Test squad,” said national selector Ed Smith. “James will provide cover in case Jonny Bairstow’s fractured finger prevents him playing in the fourth Test match.

“James returns to the England set-up in confident form and scoring runs. He has been in excellent form for Hampshire in the Specsavers County Championship, with 847 runs at 56.46, including 74 and 147 this week – runs that shaped Hampshire’s win against Nottinghamshire. James’ match-winning runs also helped Hampshire to win the Royal London One-Day Cup earlier this summer.”

Moeen Ali and Sam Curran are also in the 14-man squad. Ali notched his second career double-century and took eight wickets for Worcestershire earlier this week, including clean bowing Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson, and claiming second innings figures of 6/49 while Curran was also in action for his county, hitting 31 and 40 in a win over Lancashire for Surrey.

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On Porter’s exclusion, Smith said: “Jamie Porter has been part of the last three Test squads. But the selection panel did not want him to miss the opportunity of playing for Essex in the next round of championship matches. He will return to the squad in the event of an injury to a seam bowler.”

England would wrap up series victory against India with a win in the fourth Test, but if the tourists prevail, then the series will be decided in the final bout at The Oval beginning on 7 September.

Squad

Joe Root (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (vc), Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, James Vince, Chris Woakes.