England won the toss and decided to bat first against India in the fifth and final England vs India Test at The Kennington Oval, London.
Here is what the captains said:
We will bat first. It looks a bit dry. We will try to make as many runs in the first innings. We get good wickets here, it will be tough to start. I will bat at four and I will try to get the best out of myself. Jonny has been flawless in the last 18 months. His challenge will be to continue the hard work. We have played good cricket throughout the Test series.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 7, 2018
“I need heads on the both sides. That is the only way I would win the toss. First session will be tough. There is grass on the pitch. One change is forced. Ashwin is out, Jadeja replaces him. Hanuman Vihari comes in the place of Hardik Pandya. He is an exciting prospect. He averages close to 60 in first-class cricket. It has been tough for the openers in the series. Conditions have been very tough. Cook has been a great great player. What he has done is outstanding. He will go out as one of the greatest openers in the Test cricket.”
As far as deciding the outcome of the series is concerned, this game will have no affect on it. England have already wrapped up the series with a convincing 60-run win. But while the hosts would play the game without having much of tension, the visitors will be desperate to sign off on a high.
Another poor performance in overseas Test has attracted widespread criticism and rightly so. The world number one Test team just could not make the opportunities count. Barring the second Test at Lord’s, they had England in precarious position in all the three other games. However, they managed to win just one of them and consequently lost the series. A 3-2 scoreline would be a fairer reflection of the way the series was fought although England would be keen to continue their winning momentum.
Not only that, they would also be looking to give Alastair Cook a fitting farewell. England’s most decorated Test batsman will hang up his boots after this Test.
Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Moeen Ali, Joe Root(c), Jonny Bairstow(w), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah