England and India will be locking horns with each other in the fifth and final Test of the Pataudi Trophy on Friday at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. The hosts will be eyeing to draw the series with the visitors having an unassailable 2-1 lead after winning another roller-coaster of a game by 157 runs.
Put in to bat first in overcast conditions at the Oval, India managed only 191 in their first innings. In response, England managed to take a first-innings lead of 99 runs. Despite the pitch easing out and becoming easier to bat on, India faced the difficult task of turning a 99-run deficit and taking a sizeable lead to win the Test.
England batted well to keep themselves in the game, finishing with 131/2 at Lunch on Day 5. However, with a terrific spell of bowling from Jasprit Bumrah, ably supported by Ravindra Jadeja, the hosts got bundled out for 210. India moved closer to an elusive and historic series win in England after winning another enthralling game of Test cricket.
We can expect changes from this England team ahead of the fifth Test as Jos Buttler and Jack Leach rejoined England’s squad, with Sam Billings missing out. India will hope to have Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami fit and available for selection. The duo missed out on the 4th Test due to niggles, with Umesh and Shardul taking their places.
Joe Root will have to decide whether James Anderson and Ollie Robinson are fit enough to go one more time after their heavy workloads in the series to date. Given the must-win nature of the game, chances are both will play. Mark Wood will be expected to replace Craig Overton. The decision in the top six is whether Ollie Pope or Jonny Bairstow bats at number five. Pope, who scored runs at the Oval will be preferred it seems.
Probable XI: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, James Anderson
India didn’t have a training session on the eve of the game and their final XI will be a function of any subsequent ramifications. Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma though will be on standby if either Rohit Sharma or Cheteshwar Pujara fails to attain math fitness. A change is also likely in the bowling unit with both Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah playing all four Tests.
While Bumrah, a central figure of the attack, might be persisted with for another game given the high stakes. Even with the promise of spin later in the Test, India may not tinker with their 4-1 pace-spin combination that seems to have worked for them well.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
Fantasy Suggestion #1:
Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma, Joe Root (c), Haseeb Hameed, Ravindra Jadeja (vc), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah, Ollie Robinson, and Shardul Thakur
Fantasy Suggestion #2:
Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Joe Root, Haseeb Hameed (vc), Ravindra Jadeja (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jasprit Bumrah, Ollie Robinson and Ravi Ashwin