NEW DELHI: All-rounder Chris Woakes has returned home without playing any part in England's four-test series in India as part of their rotation policy, the team said on Saturday.
England have decided to rest multi-format players at different stages of their India tour to help them cope better with the challenges of living in strict bio-secure environments.
Woakes was particularly in contention to play the third test in Ahmedabad but England kept faith with veteran seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad in a four-pronged pace attack.
India routed them by 10 wickets inside two days on a dustbowl to go 2-1 up heading into next week's fourth and final match, also in Ahmedabad.
Woakes will not be part of England's bid to level the series with a team spokesman confirming the Warwickshire all-rounder has returned home.
The 31-year-old has endured a frustrating winter when he was part of the test squad in South Africa, Sri Lanka and India but could not break into the playing XI in any of the three series.
Woakes, who is set to return to India for the ODI leg next month, was particularly unlucky in Sri Lanka, where he was not picked for being in close contact of team mate Moeen Ali, who tested positive for COVID-19.
England paid the price for fielding a pace-heavy attack on a spinners' paradise in the third test and coach Chris Silverwood said off-spinner Dom Bess, who missed the last two tests, would be considered for the final match.
"He's in contention," Silverwood said on Friday.
"He was left out of this one because of potential movement we could have got out of the pink ball."
"From Bessy's point of view I wouldn't read too much into that. He has been great around the group."
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)