ENG vs IND: Jasprit Bumrah to lead India in Birmingham Test, Rishabh Pant appointed vice-captain

Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the Test match.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo Source: ICC)

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BCCI has named Jasprit Bumrah as team India’s captain for the rescheduled fifth and final Test against England. Head coach Rahul Dravid had asserted on Wednesday (June 29) evening that the regular skipper Rohit Sharma was not ruled out and would undergo COVID tests before the Test match. But it seems that he has not recovered from the virus entirely and will miss the crucial Test match.

Jasprit Bumrah is set to become the first fast bowler from India as a captain in 35 years. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant has been appointed the vice-captain of the team for this encounter. Team India leads the five-match Test series 2-1 and have a great chance to beat England in their own backyard for the first time since 2007.

While the visitors haven’t yet named their playing XI, the Ben Stokes-led England side has announced their playing XI and veteran James Anderson has returned to the line-up in place of Jamie Overton.

Who will open the innings for India?

With Rohit Sharma ruled out, India will now take the field on Friday (July 1) without two of their best batters of the series. KL Rahul is also missing this Test match due to an injury. Shubman Gill is set to be the opener while there are several contenders to partner him at the top of the order. Hanuma Vihari has done the job before on debut in Australia while Cheteshwar Pujara, who is making a comeback, has opened for India in a stop-gap arrangement before.

KS Bharat could be a surprise pick if he indeed makes it to the playing XI. He opened the innings in the second innings of the warm-up game against Leicestershire and fared decently. It remains to be seen whom India will prefer and it has become imperative now for Virat Kohli to take up more responsibility in the absence of Rohit Sharma.