London: The uncapped Test pair of opening batsman Keaton Jennings and all-rounder Liam Dawson will join England for the remainder of their tour of India, selectors announced on Wednesday.
South Africa-born Jennings — whose father Ray coached the South African national team — will replace Haseeb Hameed who has a broken left little finger and Dawson fills in for fellow left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari, who is struggling with a back problem, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.
Hameed is returning home for an operation on the back of plaudits for his courageous half century in the second innings of the Third Test in Mohali on Tuesday which England lost to go 2-0 down in the five match series.
Durham star Jennings — who averaged over 60 for Durham in the County Championship last season — is set to be captain Alistair Cook’s 11th opening partner since former skipper Andrew Strauss called it a day four years ago.
Jennings, 24, should get an immediate run-out for England Lions against the United Arab Emirates on Thursday before heading to India for the fourth Test in Mumbai next week.
Ansari is also due to return to England while 26-year-old Dawson, who made his One Day International and Twenty20 cricket debut this summer, is expected to arrive in India next week from Bangladesh where he is playing in the Premier League for Rangpur Raiders.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, meanwhile, vaulted to a career best third spot in the latest International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings for Test batsmen released here.
The 28-year-old Kohli, who scored 62 and six not out to help India crush England by 8 wickets in the third Test against England at Mohali, moved to 833 points, within 14 points of second-ranked England’s Joe Root in a list led by Australia captain Steve Smith.
Starting the series in 15th position, Kohli has risen at a fast pace scoring 405 runs in the three Tests against England, according to an ICC release.
Kohli, who is top-ranked in Twenty20 internationals and second in One-Day Internationals, looks determined to top the table in Tests, the only format in which he has never been top-ranked.
England’s Jonny Bairstow has also reached a career best ranking of 9th — a leap of three places with knocks of 89 and 15 while Australia opener Usman Khawaja has moved up nine places to 19th after a match-winning knock of 145 that helped Australia win the day-night final Test against South Africa in Adelaide by seven wickets.
For South Africa, Faf du Plessis’s innings of 118 not out and 12 have helped him move up eight positions to 23rd rank while opener Stephen Cook has moved up 30 places to a career best 44th position after scoring 40 and 104 in Adelaide.