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IND VS ENG: Who will replace Jasprit Bumrah? Will Stokes bowl? Net session at Ranchi provides answers

Also find out who was the most hard-working England cricketer at the training a couple of days before fourth Test.

The Indian team held an intense training session at Ranchi ahead of the crucial fourth Test match against England starting March 1st. With pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah rested, India is weighing up options to partner Mohammed Siraj in the pace attack.

Bengal fast bowler Akash Deep made a strong case for selection, consistently hitting hard lengths and generating extra bounce that could trouble England’s batsmen. His state teammate Mukesh Kumar also bowled impressively, but Akash Deep’s extra pace and bounce give him an advantage.

India also has the option of playing an extra spinner like Washington Sundar, should the pitch offer ample turn early on. Sundar was fluent with both bat and ball in the nets, showing the all-round skills that fetched him a 96 not out in his last Test innings three years ago.

For England, skipper Ben Stokes provided a huge fitness boost by bowling full tilt in the nets. With Ollie Robinson likely to come into the team, Stokes’ return would give England vital seam bowling depth to support their spin trio. Stokes last bowled in Tests against Australia last year before knee surgery. While medical staff will take the final call, Stokes showed no signs of strain in an intense bowling spell that had Jonny Bairstow in all sorts of trouble.

Joe Root will also be hoping Ranchi ends his prolonged lean patch. The former captain was practicing his wide array of strokes in the nets, including the reverse sweeps that led to his demise last game. With nemesis Bumrah absent, Root will aim to stand up and get back among the runs.

Bairstow also batted grittily for long hours, determined to overcome his recent struggles. After focusing on defence initially, he opened up with his trademark flashy strokeplay by the end.

Both teams underwent intense preparations in Ranchi, but question marks remain around team selection. The fourth Test promises to be another gripping contest between two closely matched rivals.

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