England captain Joe Root, on Thursday, named an unchanged team for the fifth and final England vs India Test starting at the Oval on Friday.
The hosts have already wrapped up the series after winning the fourth Test by 60 runs to take an unassailable 3-1 lead. Defending 245, England bowled out India for just 184 to bounce back from the defeat at Trent Bridge in style. They began their defence on a dominant note. Their pace spearheads Stuart Broad and Shikhar Dhawan had sent India’s top-three back to the hut with just 22 runs on the board. However, an 101-run stand between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane threatened to take the game away from the hosts.
But the game turned on its head once Moeen Ali accounted for Kohli who scored 58. From there on, the floodgates opened as England bowled India out for 184.
Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow will return to his usual wicketkeeping position after playing the last game only as a batsman. Bairstow fractured his middle finger while keeping wickets in the third Test. As a result, he had to leave the field with Jos Buttler taking over behind the stumps. Buttler, England’s limited-overs ‘keeper, settled immediately into the role and followed it up with a maiden Test hundred on day four.
And Buttler kept the wicket in the fourth Test too as Bairstow had not recovered fully. However, he has now completely recovered and will don the gloves again.
All the focus, meanwhile, will be on Alastair Cook. The former England skipper would retire from international cricket at the end of the game. He is yet to play any big knock in the series and will be keen to bow out on a high. Cook will be retiring after playing a English record 161 games.
England team for fifth England vs India Test:
Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Moeen Ali, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (w), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson.