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Predicting India’s strongest playing XI for the fifth Test against England

BCCI has announced the Indian squad for the one-off Test against England that will happen on July 5th. The rescheduled match will decide the fate of the Test series, which India is leading 2-1 right now. In this article, we predict India’s strongest playing XI for the fifth Test against England. Before that, here is a look at the squad that will travel to England for the game.

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India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

Openers: KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma (C)

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will be the openers in India’s strongest playing XI for the fifth Test against England. The duo was one of the main reasons why India could do well against the Englishmen last year. Now, they look more comfortable in their roles and hence, will be the obvious opening combination.

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Middle-Order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (WK), and Hanuma Vihari

Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped from Team India for the Sri Lanka series at home. However, after smacking four centuries in County cricket so far, Pujara has forced his return to the squad. Considering he has the experience of playing in England, he is likely to reclaim his No.3 spot.

Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant will continue in their roles at No.4 and No.5. Hanuma Vihari might have the edge over Shreyas Iyer for the last spot in the batting department. This is mainly because Vihari has the experience of playing before in English conditions.

All-Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja has done well with the bat in overseas conditions. He returned to form with the ball in the Test tournament held in India at the end of last year. Therefore, if he is fit for the game, Jaddu is certain as the main all-rounder.

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Bowlers: Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Prasidh Krishna

R Ashwin did not play against England last year in the series. Considering he could not do well in South Africa, Ashwin might have to be left out. India does not need two spinners and hence, Ashwin will have to, unfortunately, miss out.

The pace trio that found success will continue to be part of the playing XI. For the remaining spot, Prasidh Krishna could be preferred ahead of the likes of Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav. This is mainly because of Prasidh’s recent form and his ability to hit the deck hard.

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Nesara V Jagannatha

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