England v Pakistan: Hosts keep winning team for final Test at Oval

England celebrate victory over Pakistan at Edgbaston
England won by 141 runs at Edgbaston to move 2-1 ahead in the series
Fourth Investec Test: England v Pakistan
Venue: The Oval Dates: 11-15 August Start time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

England have kept the same team that won at Edgbaston for the final Test of the four-match series against Pakistan, which starts at The Oval on Thursday.

There were suggestions that Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid, yet to play a Test this year, might come into the side.

But batsman James Vince was passed fit after a dislocated finger, while England will stick with four seam bowlers and Moeen Ali's off-spin.

England have won successive matches to take a 2-1 lead into the final Test.

Leg-spinner Rashid has been released to play for his county Yorkshire in Thursday's T20 Blast quarter-final against Glamorgan in Cardiff.

Nottinghamshire pace bowler Jake Ball was the other player in the 13-man squad omitted from the final XI.

Rashid took 5-64 on his debut against Pakistan in October and had been tipped to play only his fourth Test, given that he is expected to feature prominently during the winter tours to the spin-friendly conditions of Bangladesh and India.

But England skipper Alastair Cook said he was happy with his five-man attack, who each took two wickets in the second innings at Edgbaston as the hosts won by 141 runs.

Worcestershire all-rounder Moeen, 29, took the final wicket with a smart caught and bowled and now has 75 wickets from his 29 Tests, at an average of 41.05.

"I think the pitch will turn but our four seamers are bowling well and Mo took a massive stride in that last game," Cook said.

Asked about Rashid, he added: "If we were 3-0 up it might have been different but the series is very much alive.

"We stuck with Mo because he's such a valuable member of the side with the runs he has scored and in the last game he bowled really well.

"Adil is clearly going to get a chance in the winter, he's still got one-day cricket here to keep that international experience going and when he gets that chance he's got to take it."

Return to number one a possibility for England

If England can avoid defeat at The Oval they will hold the series trophies against all nine of their Test opponents for the first time.

Victory could bring the possibility of a return to the top of the Test rankings for the first time since 2012, but that is dependent on various permutations in other current series around the world.

How can England get to number one? Try the ICC Test rankings predictor (external site)external-link

"It shocked me a little bit when someone told me it could happen because I thought we're still a way off that," Cook told BBC Sport.

"To become the number one side in the world you have to win consistently away from home and possibly be a little more experienced across the board.

"In 2011-12, every guy had close to 50 games and you could name that 12 if everyone was fit.

"We're not quite at that situation, there's a few more places up for grabs, there's a lot of talent but I feel we need to work a bit harder to get there because there is a lot more for this side to do."

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson.

Pakistan (probable): Mohammad Hafeez or Iftikhar Ahmed, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali.

Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (Aus), Marais Erasmus (SA)

TV umpire: Joel Wilson (WI)

Match referee: Sir Richie Richardson (WI)

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