#IndiaInEngland 5th Test: All that you need to know
England and India are gearing up for the fifth Test, at the Oval, starting this Friday. The hosts have already pocketed the 5-match Test series 3-1 and will be looking to gain further domination. India's collapse during the chase at Southampton saw them lose the closely fought tie. Virat Kohli's men will be hoping to give a better account of themselves.
R Ashwin is, reportedly, suffering a groin injury and that means Ravindra Jadeja could get a look in. Also Prithvi Shaw could get an opportunity to make his debut, replacing either Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul. For England, youngster Ollie Pope returns to the squad and could replace Jonny Bairstow, who still looks bothered by his finger injury.
The pitch is expected to be similar to the one we saw at Southampton. Day 4 and 5 could assist spinners. Reports state that there isn't possibility of rain. There will be cloud cover though and the conditions could assist swing.
In the first and the fourth Test, India came close to sealing crucial victories. But the batting let them down in striking fashion. India collapsed against Moeen Ali's spin bowling in the 4th Test and that will be a crucial factor in the final match. Can India avoid similar fate? Besides Kohli, the rest of the batsmen need to be more responsible.
Alastair Cook will be appearing in his final Test match. The southpaw has featured in 160 Tests so far and is the leading run-scorer for his side in this format. Will we see Cook bow out on a high? He hasn't been in the best of form and India will hope to target him early on. The legendary player will pull in the crowds.
Kohli will hold the fort for India. He has already amassed 544 runs in 4 Tests and could be on his way to cross the 600-run mark. The Indian pacers will, once again, hope to pick 20 wickets. For England, James Anderson will be crucial in getting key wickets. All-rounder Moeen Ali will also be influential for England.
Likely XI England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (captain), Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson Likely XI India: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ishant Sharma.
The day's play will start at 3:30 PM IST and will be aired on the Sony Ten network. One can also stream the match live on the Sony LIV app.