File photo of Cheteshwar Pujara© Twitter
All eyes will be on what combination Team India opt to go in with for the rescheduled fifth Test against England, beginning Friday at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Rohit Sharma is ruled out of the Test after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning once again, as per the BCCI. Jasprit Bumrah would lead the side, but it would be interesting to see who opens the batting alongside Shubman Gill. Former India batter Wasim Jaffer has said that Cheteshwar Pujara opening the batting make more sense to sense to him.
“Looking at the forecast ahead, it does say that it is going to rain for a couple of days. With rain around, you are tempted to play four seamers, in that case, I think Shardul Thakur, they will be thinking towards that. He had a decent series last time around as well, he chipped in with some important knocks. If you have to play one spinner, I will be tempted to go in with Ashwin rather than Jadeja,” Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo.
“You need to go towards your specialist spinner, the fourth seamer should be Shardul and the spinner should be Ashwin. I think Pujara opening the batting makes more sense to me, so you can squeeze in Hanuma Vihari, who has batted at No.3 in first-class cricket, so he gets his spot and then you can play Shreyas Iyer as well, who has had a wonderful start to his career,” he added.
The announcement that Bumrah will lead in Rohit’s absence came just moments ahead of the captain’s press conference on the eve of the match. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has been named as the vice-captain for the match.
Bumrah will be the first fast bowler to lead India in a Test match since Kapil Dev and will be the 36th Test captain of India.
Virat Kohli-led India had earlier taken a 2-1 lead against England last year before the final Test was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.
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