England vs India, 5th Test - India Predicted XI

England vs India, 5th Test – India Predicted XI

Prithvi Shaw to make his debut?

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

England and India will lock horns for one final time on this tour in the fifth and final Test match at the Kennington Oval in London. The hosts have already sealed the series with a win in Southampton and it will be no less than a dead rubber. However, there is a lot of excitement around this game with Alastair Cook set to call it a day after the match and a possible debut for India’s upcoming sensation Prithvi Shaw.

The Indian captain Virat Kohli and the coach Ravi Shastri have cleared that there will not be a let off in their intensity and they will look to win the encounter. Very few must have forgotten what happened in Johannesburg in South Africa earlier this year and this team has the ability to bounce back strongly much like they did at Trent Bridge.

Here we bring you India’s predicted XI for the final Test of the series:

Openers (Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul)

The visitors are likely to stick with the same opening combination and Shaw will have to wait for his turn. Shikhar Dhawan, after dropping in the second Test, has fared better in terms of the balls faced and he is now expected to play a big knock which he is known for. The left-hander has looked increasingly comfortable in his series and would be itching to end the tour with a bang.

The net sessions ahead of the game suggest that KL Rahul is set to get one more chance. His slip catching expertise might have gone in his favour. The stylish player has plucked some of the best catches of this series standing at the second slip and will have to bring that confidence in his batting. Like his partner, Rahul has also failed to convert his starts and would love to better his tally.

Middle-order (Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (wk))

Cheteshwar Pujara has proved his worth to this team and the team management will never dare to drop him again. His 132-run knock saved the face for India in Southampton as they were somehow able to take a slender lead of 27 runs. He will be keen to continue to perform by sorting out a few glitches in his technique. Virat Kohli doesn’t need any introduction and it will be crucial for him to continue in the same vein.

He has been rested for India’s next assignment which means that the Indian captain will give it all to make it 3-2 in the series. Ajinkya Rahane, the vice-captain, looked at his best mentally and technically in the second innings of the previous game. He would love to be the team’s mainstay in this game and prove a point to everyone criticising him.

The most important change for this game would be the return of Dinesh Karthik in place of Rishabh Pant. The chief selector MSK Prasad has stressed on players getting some game time ahead of the Asia Cup which means that Karthik will have to get a hit in the middle. The players are unlikely to get even a time before the tournament commences and it is important that Karthik gets some confidence before he heads to the United Arab Emirates.

All-rounders (Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja)

Hardik Pandya has been a boom or bust in this series. His lacklustre performance in Southampton has forced many to say that his all-round show in the third Test was a one-off. But the youngster is backed by his team which is most important for him. But he certainly needs to improve in all aspects. Ravindra Jadeja will finally get a game on this tour considering that Ravi Ashwin is injured.

He should’ve played the last match as well but the offie got fit in time. Nevertheless, Jaddu has got a rare golden opportunity to show his prowess overseas and will be in contention for Australia tour if he impresses in London.

Bowlers (Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah)

Ishant Sharma has emerged as the highest wicket-taker for India in this series and he has led the attack from the front. He made Cook his bunny several times and always kept the batsmen on the tenterhooks. The lanky fast bowler will be taking the dead rubber seriously and would want to win the game for his country. Mohammed Shami has also bowled extremely well and more importantly has sustained the pressure created by the new-ball bowlers.

The face of India’s bowling attack changed when Jasprit Bumrah was back fit. He brought the freshness to the fore and bagged a five-wicket haul on his comeback. The fully fit Bumrah though will also be crucial for the Men in Blue in the Asia Cup but before that he will be concentrating on this game.

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