Ravi Ashwin showed signs of recovering from his injury in India's training session
The 31-year-old’s fitness has been a concern ever since he sustained a groin injury in the third Test at Southampton. When the Indian team hit the nets for their first training session in Southampton on Monday, the senior spinner only did some light batting practice and stayed away from bowling.
That had given rise to speculation that Ashwin’s place in the side could be taken by Ravindra Jadeja who bowled extensively in Monday’s net session.
Now, with Ashwin showing signs of recovery, the probability of India skipper Virat Kohli naming an unchanged playing XI for the first time in his captaincy tenure have shot up.
While Ashwin remains India’s only injury concern ahead of the fourth Test, England have some pondering to do in light of Jonny Bairstow’s injury. The England wicket-keeper injured his finger at Trent Bridge and could play as a specialist batsman at Southampton with Jos Buttler taking the gloves.
On the other hand, all-rounder Chris Woakes is now a big doubt for the Test after he skipped the team’s Tuesday training session. The Englishman is said to have missed out on the session after complaining of some pain in his right thigh.
It was the same injury that kept the all-rounder out of the limited-overs clashes preceding the Test series and his place could be taken by Sam Curran if he is unable to recover in time.
The fourth Test between the two sides gets underway on Thursday. The hosts currently lead the five-match series 2-1.