England vs India, 5th Test: Decoding the key player battles
India and England take on each other in the rescheduled fifth Test of the 2021, starting Friday at Edgbaston. India had earlier taken a 2-1 lead in the series and a positive result will see them win the same. For an in-form England side, a win is necessary to draw the series. Ahead of the Test, we decode the key player battles.
Joe Root is the leading run-getter in the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 (1,571). in the series versus India, he has scored the most runs (564). His duel against Jasprit Bumrah will be interesting. As per Cricmetric, Bumrah has dismissed Root six times. Meanwhile, Root has amassed 194 runs off 418 balls. In the 2021 Test series, Bumrah dismissed Root on three counts.
- India are set to be without Rohit Sharma, besides already having KL Rahul injured.
- The team is set for a new combination in opening and reports claim Cheteshwar Pujara might open alongside Shubman Gill.
- This makes an interesting battle on offer against England's new-ball bowlers.
- Meanwhile, Indian pacers will have their task cut out against an aggressive looking England side under coach Brendon McCullum.
India will be looking up to Rishabh Pant for some quality runs in the middle. He can change the game at crucial junctures. Pant will look to be aggressive against left-arm spinner Jack Leach. He has scored 88 runs from 59 balls against Leach, producing a strike rate of 149.20. Leach has bowled 24 dot balls and dismissed Pant once.
Jonny Bairstow was terrific for England in the recently concluded Test series versus New Zealand. His last three innings saw him score 136, 162, and 71*. This makes the work of Mohammed Siraj tougher as he will aim to get Bairstow early on. Bairstow has faced 101 balls, scoring 60 runs. He has faced 76 dots. Siraj has dismissed Bairstow on four occasions.
Stuart Broad did a sound job in the series versus New Zealand and he will be in an upbeat mood. Broad, who has claimed 549 scalps in Tests, will be keen to keep Virat Kohli quiet. Kohli is yet to score a century across formats since November 2019. Broad has dismissed Kohli five times, while the latter has scored 182 runs off 363 balls.