Plenty to ponder for England skipper Root

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England captain Joe Root is mulling over whether to tweak his bowling attack in the fourth Test against India amid concerns over James Anderson and Ollie Robinson's workload.

Both seamers were instrumental to the series-levelling win at Headingley and would comfortably form part of England's best XI for the fourth Test starting on Thursday.

But they have also shouldered a big burden over the past three games, each bowling more than 116 overs, and two more back-to-back Tests in the next fortnight could be too much to ask.

With long-term injuries to Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Olly Stone, the idea of rest and rotation had been temporarily put on ice, although that could be about to change.

With Chris Woakes back in the squad and positive signs around Mark Wood's shoulder injury, there is a selection headache brewing.

One temptation must be to stand down 39-year-old Anderson, preserving him for the series decider at his home ground of Old Trafford but going in without the most prolific paceman in history is not a decision to be taken lightly.

"I think it's really important we see where everyone is at over the next couple of days, physically. It's such a tricky balancing act at the minute," said Root.

"Trying to manage workloads alongside performance is something in the current climate, with the games coming thick, that is always going to be tricky.

"You come off a win like last week and there's continuity of confidence and trying to replicate a similar performance, but you're trying to balance that and make sure you don't blow someone out and injure someone."

Should the ever-reliable Woakes make the XI, it would mark his first appearance since being named as England's Test player of the 2020 season.

Since then he has endured a sequence of unfortunate setbacks.

"It's been an absolute nightmare for Woakesy," said Root.

"Whether it's COVID that's kept him out - being a close contact - or a freak injury coming down the stairs, it feels like he's not played a huge amount of cricket.

"But when he has played he's been as good as ever. He was our best player last year.

"The white-ball stuff that's he's played has been exceptional, getting it to move all over the place, so to have him back around things is great."

England will make one enforced change to their winning formula, with vice-captain Jos Buttler having left the squad in preparation for the birth of his second child.

Jonny Bairstow will take over as wicketkeeper, with a vacant batting spot going to Ollie Pope or Dan Lawrence.

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