MUMBAI, Dec 8 (Reuters) - England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and opted to bat in the fourth and penultimate test against India at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.
The touring side, trailing 2-0 in the five-match series, made two changes to the side that lost the third test in Mohali last month.
Left-hander Keaton Jennings will make his England debut as Cook’s latest opening partner, replacing teenager Haseeb Hameed, who broke his little finger in Mohali and returned home to undergo surgery.
Jake Ball will play his second test as England opted for an extra fast bowler in their side and dropped off-spinner Gareth Batty.
Fast bowler Stuart Broad, who suffered a foot injury during the second test in Visakhapatnam and subsequently missed the game in Mohali, did not recover enough to make the side.
The Wankhede Stadium, overlooking the Arabian Sea, has been a happy hunting ground for England, who have won their last two test matches against the hosts at the venue in 2012 and 2006.
“It looks a good wicket. All three games we’ve played so far has been on good wickets,” Cook said at the toss.
”It’s been nice to get away for a few days off from cricket and now it’s back to business. We have a lot of support here, hope we can play well.
“Nice turning up to a ground where we have good memories. Doesn’t obviously count for too much now, but we’re in a good place as a team mentally.”
India were without fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who is nursing a sore knee and was replaced by seam bowling colleague Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Opening batsman Lokesh Rahul returned to the side after missing the third test in Mohali with injury and replaced middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane who has been ruled out of the last two tests with a fractured finger.
“Not a bad toss to lose,” India captain Virat Kohli said.
”Wankhede first session day one is obviously going to be crucial. We are playing only two seamers, so they come into play big time.
“We are not just looking at this one but the whole series as a package, for us to execute our skills and get the scores that we want. Again an opportunity for us to do what we’ve been doing really well for the last few matches.”
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Keaton Jennings, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, James Anderson, Jake Ball.
India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, Parthiv Patel (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav. (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)