India vs England Live Score 5th Test Day 1, IND vs ENG: There are few better sights than this to play cricket in.

India vs England Live Score 5th Test Day 1, IND vs ENG: There are few better sights than this to play cricket in.

India vs England Live Score 5th Test Day 1, IND vs ENG: When was the last time a Test series saw such a long gap between two games? Can’t recall? Well, neither can we. It’s almost as if the thoughts of a fifth and final Test between India and England had almost vanished. Since India’s five-wicket win in Ranchi, so much has happened. Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan’s central contracts were terminated by the BCCI, Shardul Thakur scored his 2nd First-Class century to help Mumbai reach a record 48th Ranji Trophy final, Neil Wagner played his farewell Test for New Zealand and the Women’s Premier League got done with its Bengaluru leg.…Read More

After a 10-day gap, the two teams are back to play the final Test of this exciting five-match series in one of the coldest parts of the country – the HPCA Stadium on Dharamsala, where the conditions won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Intense cold has gripped Dharamsala, so much so that even beanies, hoodies and pullovers may not be enough for the players to grapple the chill. The minimum temperature is around 1 degree and the max won’t go beyond 7 or 8 across the next 5 days.

Back to cricket. The Test holds significance for two players in particular. India’s Ravichandran Ashwin and England’s Jonny Bairstow, both of whom are set to play their 100th Test for the country. In a pretty coincidental trivia, both Ashwin and Bairstow had made their debuts against West Indies. India may not want to rest easy despite the series being won as a 4-1 finish can do their chances in the World Test Championships points table a world of good. India, currently leading the WTC table can solidify their position even further at the top.

England have made one change to their Playing XI, replacing Ollie Robinson with Mark Wood, with the two spinners Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley retaining their places. India have maintained the mystery surrounding their Playing XI as always. Will they play three seamers, or two? Will Rajat Patidar be persisted with, or will Devdutt Padikkal become the fifth India to make a debut this series?

The Dharamsala pitch looks to be a belter of a wicket as per Stokes but when it’s nippy, and the bowling attack is a fearsome as these two teams, no amount of flat decks can make batting look easy. However, India would be smacking their lips at the idea of batting first, purely because their batters have had a ball, with young Yashasvi Jaiswal leading the way. In fact, with 655 runs, Jaiswal is just one run away from matching Virat Kohli’s record for the most runs in a bilateral series comprising three Tests or more. And of course, Kohli’s 692 runs are in danger as well, just like Sunil Gavaskar’s 774.

Unfortunately enough, KL Rahul has been ruled out, which is a mystery again in itself given he was 90 percent fit ahead of the start of the third Test. He flew to London for a medial consultation and has returned to the NCA to get fit in time for the IPL, which starts in a little over two weeks. Having said that, do India really need him given how their youngsters have stepped up? Dhruv Jurel, Sarfaraz Khan, Akash Deep have been phenomenal which makes this series a lot like the BGT 2020/21.

As for the bowling, look no further than the return of Jasprit Bumrah. The India pacer, given a break for the Ranchi Test is back, and with overcast conditions awaiting, would be eager to send those crackers in to the England batters early. Partnering him could be Mohammed Siraj, or Akash if the management feels three pacers is the way to go about it. Ideally in Dharamsala, that should be the case, but as the surface spins and deteriorates, the idea of three spinners isn’t that bad either, especially if England bat last. Well, irrespective of that, milestone man Ashwin remains a threat. What an achievement it has been. Even though it hasn’t come sooner like it should have, the entire nation will feel a sense of pride when he walks out for the national anthem. Go well Ash, India is proud of you.


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