Captain Alastair Cook has confirmed that England will name an unchanged line-up for their fourth and final Test match against Pakistan, which begins at the Kia Oval tomorrow (11 August). The hosts are seeking to round off an impressive series victory after a thrilling bowling performance helped them to a superb 141-run win last weekend.
Head coach Trevor Bayliss hinted after that memorable triumph at Edgbaston that Adil Rashid could be given a chance to impress ahead of subcontinent winter tours to Bangladesh and India where his services will almost certainly be required. However, the Yorkshire spinner, who retained his place in the initial 13-man squad, misses out once again along with Nottinghamshire paceman Jake Ball.
"Hopefully everyone pulls up OK tomorrow," Cook told BBC Test Match Special. "I'm sure they will. It's always nice if you can name an unchanged team because it means people are playing well and we're winning."
When asked how Rashid had taken the news, he added: "Clearly he's disappointed and wants to play. I mean, who doesn't want to play for England? We've stuck with Moeen [Ali] in this series, when he wasn't bowling quite as well as we'd like. But he's such a valuable member, the runs he's scored and we've seen him bowl well. Obviously in the last game, he bowled really well.
"Adil's clearly going to get a chance in Bangladesh and India and he'll be raring to go. He's still got one-day cricket here and he seems to be the number one spinner there so that will keep that international experience going. When he gets that chance, he's got to take it and that's kind of what you want."
A 3-1 series win for England over Pakistan, coupled with a failure by India to win the final two instalments of their four-match series in the West Indies, would see Bayliss' men ascend back to the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time in four years. They would also hold series trophies against all nine full ICC council members.