ENG vs IND: Wasim Jaffer picks India's playing XI for rescheduled Test, backs Pujara to open the innings

ENG vs IND: Wasim Jaffer picks India’s playing XI for rescheduled Test, backs Pujara to open the innings

He also picked two spinners in the XI.

Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The much-awaited fifth and final Test between England and India is set to commence on July 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Ahead of the crucial encounter, the visitors have suffered a huge blow with their skipper Rohit Sharma getting ruled out of the Test. He failed to recover from COVID-19 and tested positive for the virus on Thursday (June 30) morning as well. Jasprit Bumrah will lead team India while Rishabh Pant has been named his deputy.

Meanwhile, several former cricketers have been giving their opinion on India’s playing XI and Wasim Jaffer has joined the bandwagon now. He has backed Cheteshwar Pujara to open the innings along with Shubman Gill. The former is making a comeback to the team following his excellent show in the County Championship season.

Jaffer feels Hanuma Vihari should bat at number three having done it during the Sri Lanka series at home earlier this year. Former skipper Virat Kohli‘s number four position is untouched while Jaffer went with Shreyas Iyer to bat five followed by Pant. Interestingly, India’s former opener selected two spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin in the playing XI, the formula Kohli avoided last year during the series backing the former as the only tweaker in the XI.

Shardul Thakur has no place in Jaffer’s XI

The pace attack of Wasim Jaffer’s XI comprised skipper Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. The trio did extremely well in the earlier Tests helping India to take a 2-1 lead in the series. However, Jaffer, in an attempt to pick an extra spinner, dropped Shardul Thakur from the XI who had done an excellent job last year.

Having said that, conditions will play a role in India deciding their final XI on match day and it remains to be seen if Thakur will get an opportunity to showcase his skills. It will also not be easy for them to bench a champion bowler like Ashwin at the same time.

Wasim Jaffer’s India XI for Edgbaston Test: Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah (C).