ENG vs IND, 5th Test: Ben Stokes elects to field
England and India lock horns in the final Test of the 2021 series at Edgbaston. The hosts have the form in their stride, having routed World Test champions, New Zealand, in the three-match series. However, India have a 2-1 lead heading into the series finale. The news from the center is that England skipper Ben Stokes has won the toss and elected to field.
India (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, HanumaVihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah (captain). England (Playing XI): Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (captain), Sam Billings (wicket-keeper), Matty Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
The match will be telecast live on Sony Sports Network (3:00 PM IST) and live-streamed on the Sony LIV app. Edgbaston is known to be a pacer-friendly venue. The wicket will favor the batters as the game progresses. Slight showers are anticipated on the first two days. Toss-winning side is likely to bowl first, given the overcast conditions.
India's regular captain Rohit Sharma is sitting out after testing positive for COVID-19. Bumrah has become the first fast bowler since Kapil Dev (1987) to captain India in Test cricket. Earlier this year, Bumrah was adjudged as India's vice-captain during the three-match ODIs against South Africa. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant will serve as India's vice-captain in the Edgbaston Test.
India are on the brink of scripting history in England this time. Going into Edgbaston Test, they lead the five-match series 2-1. India have won just four series in England in the history of Test cricket. They last beat England in their own backyard in 2007 (1-0) under Rahul Dravid. Interestingly, Dravid will serve as India's head coach at Edgbaston.
The two sides have squared off in a total of 130 Tests. England have claimed 49 wins, while India emerged victorious on 31 occasions. As many as 50 matches have resulted in a draw. India have won just nine Tests in England.