England announced their playing XI for the rescheduled Test match against India at Edgbaston on the eve of the clash. Veteran England pacer James Anderson, who missed the third Test match against New Zealand, returned to the playing XI for the series decider against India.
The Asian giants were leading the series 2-1 last year before the final Test was abandoned owing to a COVID-19 outbreak in the visitors’ camp.
Anderson is one wicket away from registering 650 wickets in Tests. He could have done that in Leeds if he was not rested for the third Test. He will most probably reunite with his long-time bowling partner Stuart Broad, who has already gone past the 550-wickets mark in the longest format of the game.
Meanwhile, Sam Billings also got a place in the XI ahead of Ben Foakes who was tested COVID-19 positive during the third Test against New Zealand.
Our XI for the fifth LV= Insurance Test with @BCCI
More here: https://t.co/uXHG3iOVCA
India were a dominant side when they visited England last year as they claimed 20 wickets in three matches to put pressure on the hosts. However, the dynamics have completely changed in both camps since last time as both teams have got new captains in Ben Stokes and Rohit Sharma along with new head coaches in Rahul Dravid and Brendon McCullum.
Under Stokes and McCullum, England have started playing an attacking brand of cricket as they completed a 3-0 series whitewash against New Zealand after winning the third and final Test by seven wickets.
Meanwhile, India are yet to announce their playing XI as they’re waiting for the medical clearance for their skipper Rohit who was tested COVID-19 positive a few days back.
Head coach Rahul Dravid, on Wednesday, stated that the Indian team management will take a final decision after examining two more test reports of Rohit.
“He (Rohit) is being monitored by our medical team. He has not yet been ruled out. Obviously he needs to get better. He will have tests tonight and tomorrow morning. We still have 36 hours before the match,” Dravid said in a virtual press conference.
England Playing XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Sam Billings (w), Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson.