James Anderson returns to England team for India Test as Jamie Overton drops out

Sam Billings remains with the team as Ben Foakes continues to recover from Covid; watch England vs India live on Friday from 9.30am on Sky Sports Cricket, with play kicking off at 10.30am

Ben Stokes has announced that James Anderson will return to the squad in place of Jamie Overton for England’s rearranged Final Test against India, starting on Friday.

The England captain also confirmed that Ben Foakes remains out as he continues to recover from Covid, meaning Kent’s Sam Billings retains his place behind the stumps.

“Unfortunately, Foakesy hasn’t recovered as well as we would have liked,” Stokes said. “So Sam will stay with the team and stay.

“(Foakes) hasn’t really recovered from last week and doesn’t feel like he can be at his best this week. We took the decision out of his hands and told him ‘get better.'”

Overton’s omission follows an impressive performance against New Zealand that saw him bat 97 as part of a key partnership with Jonny Bairstow to spark a 55-6 England revival.

He had replaced Anderson in the squad when England’s record wicket-taker sat out the final game due to injury.

“That’s how sport works at the highest level sometimes,” Stokes said. “It must be very disappointing for him, but he can go knowing that he did everything he could.”

Stokes also offered his endorsement to starter Zak Crawley after the Kent man had a tough time against New Zealand’s bowling attack, scoring four single-digit scores between strokes of 43 and 25.

“When we chose the team before we had even played a test match, the team was chosen on the basis that every player at every position is the best player in England to get us going the way we want to,” Stokes said.

“This team and this squad will have plenty of time to act. Zak Crawley is still in the plans despite what happens against India.”

“We just beat the best team in the world 3-0, India is obviously a completely different opposition, different team dynamic, but we focus on ourselves, we understand what we do well.

Stokes has underlined his faith in Zak Crawley at the top of the order

“We’ve also taken into account who we’re playing against, but just because the opponent changes doesn’t mean we’re going to change.”

Jasprit Bumrah will captain India with regular skipper Rohit Sharma unavailable due to Covid-19.

The tourists gave Sharma as much time as possible to return a negative test on the eve of the game, but announced just before 2 p.m. that fast pitcher Bumrah would lead the team for the first time.

Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has also been confirmed as vice-captain.

The game is the final match of last year’s series between the teams, which came to an abrupt conclusion when India withdrew just a couple of hours before the scheduled start at Emirates Old Trafford over coronavirus concerns.

England XI vs India: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Sam Billings (week), Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson

Watch the first day of the rescheduled LV= Fifth Insurance Test between England and India, at Edgbaston, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Friday. Coverage begins at 9:30 a.m. and the game starts at 10:30 a.m.

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