India’s predicted XI for 5th Test against England: Sportsrush presents before you India’s predicted eleven for the fifth and last Test against England.
In which will put down the curtains on India’s tour of England 2018, the fifth and the final Test of the series is all in readiness to kick-start in less than 48 hours from now. With England gaining an assailable 3-1 lead in the series, the final match at The Oval will be played as a dead rubber.
However, with England announcing a full-strength squad for the match, they have issued the statement of playing the match with the clear intention of winning. On the other hand, pride is what will motivate India to register another victory in the series. Another loss for the visitors would make the series scoreline as 4-1, something which will attract a lot of criticism from back home.
Below is the predicted playing eleven for the series:
1. Top-order – In such a scenario, India would be looking to firstly get down on the field with an appropriate playing eleven. An anticipated change for the Indian cricket team is the inclusion of Prithvi Shaw in place of an out-of-sorts Lokesh Rahul. Having played all the four Test matches in this series, Rahul has scored 113 runs in four matches at a paltry average of 14.12.
These are numbers which you don’t expect from your opening batsman, and that too, in a crucial series such as this. Agreed that Rahul has been exceptional with his slip catching in this series, but even that is unlikely to save his opener’s position in the next Test.
Talking about the 18-year old right-hand batsman from Mumbai, the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup-winning captain has been a revelation since his admission into First-class cricket. In the 14 matches that he has played so far, he has scored 1,418 runs at an average of 56.72 and a strike rate of 76.69. The best part about his short career so far is his ability to convert his starts into big hundreds.
Including a highest First-class score of 188, Shaw has registered seven centuries and five half-centuries in the format. He had registered this highest score against West Indies A during the India A tour of England held earlier this year. In the one-off Test against England Lions, he had scored 62 in the first innings against the likes of Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Jamie Porter, Dominic Bess and Jack Leach. Having also scored a century during the triangular series in England (also comprising West Indies A), it seems as it the teenager will cope up well with the English conditions.
158 runs in three matches at an average of 26.33 doesn’t speak much about Shikhar Dhawan’s show in the Test series. Yet, he is likely to partner Shaw at the top of the order. Personally, he would be wanting to post a strong start so that the others can count on it. Having scored his 15th Test century in the last match, Cheteshwar Pujara is all set to play at No. 3.
2. Middle-order – Captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane comprise of a strong middle-order on paper. It is just that the latter has to play according to his potential. Rahane might have scored a couple of half-centuries in the series but an average of 27.50 speaks of the otherwise.
The lower middle-order in Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant are likely to be retained in the playing eleven for the last Test. Both of whom should start taking more responsibility. Their recent failures with the bat have forced the experts to talk on the lines of India playing with only five batsmen in the series. It might be a case of expecting too much from them but that is how international cricket goes. With them representing the country now, there will be no scope for the inexperienced players’ card.
3. Bowlers – A news which is doing the rounds since yesterday and might get confirmed by tomorrow is the injury concern for India’s premier spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin. In which is likely to happen, Ravindra Jadeja would replace Ashwin in the playing eleven for the fifth Test.
The change will also be a welcome opportunity for Jadeja who has represented India in a sole Test (no ODIs or T20Is either) this year. In the 36 Test matches that he has played at the highest level, he has picked up 171 wickets at an average of 23.11, an economy rate of 2.32 and a strike rate of 59.5.
It is within the bounds of possibility that the trio of fast bowlers in Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah would be retained as well. With them clinching 15, 14 and 11 wickets respectively in this series, it is one of the best performance by the Indian pacers in England.
Predicted playing eleven: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.