England Vs India, Match Preview
India are chasing history at the moment. This is the first time since 1986, where India have won at least two Tests in a series in England. With India leading, and in a position where they can’t lose the series, they have a great chance to pull off another brilliant triumph this year. If they can hold of defeat, this will be India’s first win in England since 2007.
They still have work to do at Old Trafford, and the Test has a covid cloud above it. Last week Ravi Shastri and a few of the support staff tested positive. Recently, India’s associate physio also tested positive, and there is likely to be some nervousness in the camp.
England will be coming into the Test under the pump as well. They haven’t been very good in Tests over the last two years. They lost to New Zealand at home, and are on the verge of losing to India as well. England though will be hoping to win the series and hold on with a drawn series, giving some confidence as the Ashes comes closer. Joe Root has carried the batting throughout the series but it hasn’t been enough for victory. With issues in both departments, he has a lot to think about ahead of the Ashes in Australia later this year.
England Vs India, Team News
The Indian camp has some sore players and rotation is likely. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj could be rested after playing each Test of the series. Mohammad Shami is fit again likely to slot in. The final Test could finally see Ravichandran Ashwin getting a chance with India looking to rest their bowlers, and prevent them from injuries. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara had injury troubles in the third innings and didn’t take the field on the final day. If both are still injured, India will have to look at other options. They have Mayank Agarwal who can open while Hanuma Vihari is also in the squad. Ajinkya Rahane’s form continues to ask questions especially with talents like Suryakumar Yadav breathing down his neck.
For England, Jos Butler is back, and Chris Woakes showed up with a brilliant performance in the fourth Test. Moeen Ali is likely to continue as the first-choice spinner while Jake Leach has been drafted into the squad. Mark Wood is fit for a recall and could come in if England choose to rest one of their pacers.
England Vs India, Predicted XIs
England (probable): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Haseeb Hameed, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Ollie Robinson, 10 Mark Wood, 11 James Anderson
India (probable): 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma/Mayank Agarwal, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane/Hanuma Vihari, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Mohammed Shami/Mohammad Siraj, 11 Umesh Yadav
England Vs India, Players to Watch out for
Joe Root has single-handedly carried the batting line-up throughout the series and has been a class above other batters in this series. With the series coming into its final turn, Root could be called upon again to save England from a series defeat. He has been tough to dismiss, with India only managing to dislodge him early in the fourth Test. With the Ashes coming up, a lot depends on Joe Root’s form and England will be eager to see him continue his purple patch.
Virat Kohli has been wonderful as captain, making the right moves and getting involved in the field. He has also made a couple of steady half-centuries, but his bat hasn’t talked as much as he would like. With one Test left, Virat Kohli probably look to make a final statement with the bat, and help India stay in the lead.
England Vs India, Pitch Conditions
The Manchester surface is known to be hard and bouncy. The batters like playing on the surface and there is some assistance to both fast and spin bowlers. With the season in its latter stages, the surface may keep low occasionally bringing spinners into the game.