Wood replaces Robinson for England, Rohit hails milestone man Ashwin

DHARAMSALA (INDIA): England recalled fast bowler Mark Wood in the lone change to their side as they chase a consolation victory in the final test against India beginning in Dharamsala tomorrow.

Seamer Ollie Robinson loses his place after his wicketless outing in the fourth test in Ranchi, where India grabbed an unassailable 3-1 lead in the riveting five-match series, which concludes at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.

Wood joins James Anderson in England's seam attack, while Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir will shoulder the spin load with Joe Root chipping in with his part-time off-spin.

"I think going with two seamers and two spinners is probably the right call," England captain Ben Stokes told reporters on the eve of the match.

"We felt there would probably a bit more grass on the wicket just because of where we are, but overall I think the wicket looks an absolute belter.

"So playing two seamers and still having Bash and Tom gives us a good mixture when you're a little bit unsure of what it will do as the test goes on."

Stokes expected batters to dominate the contest and would particularly want his good friend Jonny Bairstow to shrug off his poor form in what would be the batter's 100th test.

"If I was a captain here in a one-day game I wouldn't want to win the toss because I wouldn't know what to do looking at how good the wicket looks," Stokes said in his assessment of the pitch.

"Again, we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out and whether we're batting or bowling first we'll have a better idea of how the game needs to play out."

Having secured their 17th consecutive test series win at home, India can afford to relax in Dharamsala but Ravichandran Ashwin will be keen to make his 100th test a special occasion.

Home captain Rohit Sharma heaped praise on the off-spinner, who claimed his 500th test wicket in the ongoing series, calling him a "match-winner."

"It's a big achievement for any player to play 100 tests," Rohit told reporters.

"It's a big milestone. Ashwin is a big match-winner for us.

"If you look at his performances in the last five-seven years, he has contributed in every series. Players like him are rare." --Reuters

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