Why R Ashwin not playing today: India have made three changes to their Playing XI from their last Test match.
During the first day of the rescheduled fifth Test of the ongoing India’s tour of England in Birmingham, England captain Ben Stokes has won the toss and chose to bowl.
“We’re gonna have a bowl. We’ve done well chasing and it’s also to see how the wicket will behave. It’s obviously good to come into a new series so quickly. Gives us the opportunity to keep the momentum rolling. We’re going to keep the same attitude going,” Stokes told Sky Sports at the toss.
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Leading India for the first time, Jasprit Bumrah expressed excitement about the prospect of becoming India’s 36th Test captain. Contended with his team’s preparations ahead of this one-off Test, Bumrah hinted at executing the plans in these five days.
“It’s a good feeling [to be captain] and is a big privilege. Can’t get better than this. Excited and looking forward to this. Very happy with the preparation. Wanted to spend a lot of time and get used to the English conditions, as we came back from T20s. Happy with the preparation, now it’s for the mental side to take over,” Bumrah told Sky Sports at the toss.
Why is R Ashwin not playing vs England today?
While England had announced their Playing XI yesterday, Bumrah confirmed India’s Playing XI at the toss. Not experimenting a lot, India have retained their four-pacer and a spin-bowling all-rounder strategy from last year.
As a result, Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja will take care of the bowling duties at Edgbaston. The development has once again resulted in no place in the XI for ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Readers must note that Ashwin had missed all the four Tests of this series in 2021 as well.
As far as the opening combination is concerned, batters Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara have returned to the Playing XI. While regular captain Rohit Sharma is missing this match due to COVID-19, Agarwal hasn’t been preferred in spite of being called upon as a late replacement for Sharma.