India v England: Keaton Jennings to open with Alastair Cook in fourth Test

Keaton Jennings
Keaton Jennings made seven centuries in the County Championship last season, more than any other player
India v England: Fourth Test
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai Date: 8-12 December
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and text commentary on the BBC Sport website from 03:45 GMT

Durham batsman Keaton Jennings will become Alastair Cook's latest opening partner when England face India in the fourth Test in Mumbai on Thursday.

South Africa-born Jennings, 24, replaces Haseeb Hameed, who required surgery on a broken left hand suffered in the third Test.

Bowler Stuart Broad is rated at 50-50 for the fourth Test after missing the match in Mohali with a foot injury.

England are 2-0 down in the five-match series.

Jennings will become Cook's 11th different opening partner since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012.

A former captain of South Africa Under-19s, he said he feels "very comfortable and very English, despite my accent".

This year he completed a four-year qualification period to be eligible for England, and celebrated his call-up with an unbeaten century as England Lions beat the United Arab Emirates in Dubai.

Cook said: "He is in good touch, has spent some time in the middle for the Lions - making a hundred - and it is a very special day for him on Thursday."

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India v England - fourth Test: Great opportunity for Keaton Jennings - Alastair Cook

India bring in uncapped Pandey

India will be without middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who has a hand injury.

He is replaced by uncapped Manish Pandey, the first Indian to score a century in the IPL, who has a first-class average of 49.28 and has played 12 one-day internationals.

Pace bowler Mohammed Shami, India's joint second-highest wicket-taker in the series with 10, remains a doubt with a knee injury, so uncapped Shardul Thakur has been called into the squad as cover.

'Pop guns against heavy artillery'

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

England have options to consider but the quality of the alternatives is an issue.

We know that Jennings will partner Cook, and at least he scored a century for the Lions last week, but with the middle order looking light, neither Ben Duckett nor Gary Ballance would fill one with confidence.

Either could play instead of Gareth Batty, whose place is also under threat from an extra quick bowler, ideally Broad but he is only rated 50-50 so Jake Ball and Steven Finn are on standby.

Batty could retain his place if England believe the pitch will turn square, but none have so far and this seems the least likely option.

But they've got pop guns really and they are up against some very heavy artillery in India, who have their lead and are determined to win this series.

Cook is still speaking optimistically but the reality is that apart from one session in the first Test, India have been entirely dominant.

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