England vs India 5th Test Preview

England vs India 5th Test Preview

After the epic conclusion of the fourth Test at the Oval, the 5-match Test series between England and India is all set for one final showdown at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Despite conceding a 99-run first-innings lead, India outgunned England on day five at the Oval to win by 157 runs after some magnificent performances from Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja. With that monumental victory, India take a 2-1 series lead to Manchester where they will look to wrap up the series victory with another win and cement their legacy as one of the greatest Indian Test teams in history.

England, on the other hand, will want to save face and draw the series at 2-2 at Old Trafford to avoid their second series defeat of the summer – after losing 1-0 to New Zealand in June. The hosts bounced back in style at Headingley after losing the second Test at Lord’s, and Joe Root’s side will have to do the same in Manchester to add another fascinating twist to this enthralling Test series.

Team News

Coming to the end of a long series with the three Tests played back-to-back, we might see some rotation from England heading into the final Test at Old Trafford. After recovering from his shoulder injury, Mark Wood is expected to return to the XI at the expense of Craig Overton, while a late call will be taken on the fitness of Jimmy Anderson – who has bowled over 160 overs so far this series.

Jos Buttler will also come back into the side – after missing the 4th Test due to the birth of his second child – and will don the gloves at Old Trafford at the expense of either Jonny Bairstow or Ollie Pope in the XI.

For India, the main selection debacle ahead of the final Test remains the inclusion of the world’s highest-ranked spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. The pitch at Old Trafford does generally assist spin with England also recalling their number one spinner – Jack Leach – into the squad, and Ashwin could replace Thakur in the XI if conditions are dry and more suited to spin.

The Indian team management will also assess the fitness of Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara after they failed to take the field in the final innings at the Oval, while Mohammad Shami should return to the XI after a slight niggle that kept him out of the fourth Test.

Probable XI

England: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow/Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, James Anderson

India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahu, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah