Doubts over Rohit Sharma’s availability as India take on England

(Cricket news) Last year India and England went head to head for 4 Tests. India were leading the series 2-1 after an impressive performance. The 5th and final Test at Old Trafford was indefinitely postponed after a Covid outbreak in the Indian camp. The two teams now gear up for the deciding Test match at Edgbaston. A lot of things have changed since the last time as both teams will have different coaches and captains. There are certain other changes in both the teams but it should be a cracking Test match in any case. 

India's possible playing XI:

Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Bench: Mayank Agarwal, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat

Rohit Sharma has been tested positive for Covid and even though he isn't ruled out, it is unlikely that he will be available. Cheteshwar Pujara is likely to open the batting even though Mayank Agarwal has been called up to the squad purely due to his recent county performances and also because Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari both deserve to be in the side. Leaving out Ravichandran Ashwin is going to be very difficult but doing that worked in the first 4 matches. The combination of 4 seamers and Ravindra Jadeja works perfectly in English conditions. The rest of the team pretty much picks itself. Jasprit Bumrah is likely to lead the side in the absence of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma which will make him the first fast bowler to captain India in 35 years.

England's possible playing XI:

Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Johnny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Matthew Potts, Jack Leech, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Bench: Sam Billings, Harry Brook, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton 

James Anderson and Ben Foakes missed the last Test but both are available for the match. England's middle order of Ollie Pope, Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow are in excellent form and will be extremely crucial for them. The playing XI pretty much picks itself as the team did really well against New Zealand. The opening combination is still a concern but England have decided to stick with it. Jos Buttler's incredible white ball performances have still not earned him a call back into the Test.

Light rain and showers are predicted in the first two days while the rest three days are expected to be sunny. The seamers will definitely get good purchase off the pitch especially in the first two days. There will be some turn on the pitch towards the end due to sunny weather but not much. The toss will be very crucial and both teams will definitely like to bowl first. England are favourites going into the match after their performance against New Zealand and the fact that India are missing both their first choice openers. The visitors however cannot be ruled out because there is too much talent in their squad. 

Also read: How catastrophic will Rohit Sharma's potential absence be for India?


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