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ENG v IND 5th Test Preview: Team India will look to spoil Cook's farewell and end the tour on a high

Thu, 6th, Sep 2018 |
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England took an unassailable lead of 3-1 in the previous game at Southampton but India know the scoreline could have been different if they could have been a little more consistent throughout the four days. But that is how this series has been for India, a set of what ifs and should haves. If Virat Kohli got a little more support at Edgbaston, if bowlers capitalised on the start they got in Southampton when England were 6 down for less than 100, if the lower middle order contributed more in the same Test in their 1st innings to help India gain a hefty lead. But it was not to be and India had to settle with yet another overseas Test series defeat.

Though the series win out of contention, India will still come out with great intent in the final Test to win it and make the scoreline look a bit more respectable. On the other hand, this Test is going to be an emotional one for all of England as Alastair Cook, arguably their greatest Test batsman bids adieu to the game of cricket and England will play this game with all their heart to give a memorable farewell to Cook.

England have announced the same 13-man squad for the final Test and we don't expect any major changes in the XI from the last Test. Keeping in mind the workload, their senior bowlers like James Anderson or Stuart Broad might be rested and be replaced by the now fit Chris Woakes who had to miss out on the last Test owing to his injury.

We can once again expect changes in the Indian set-up as Kohli would like to finish the series on a high and will want to go in with the best possible XI. The practice sessions on Wednesday suggested that Ashwin might miss the last game as he seemed to have aggravated his groin injury and Ravindra Jadeja might get his first game of the tour. Indian openers have failed to get amongst the runs and KL Rahul's repeated failures have been a matter of concern. He was given an extended run in the net-session indicating he will get another chance in the final Test but the idea of including the young Prithvi Shaw can be tempting.

Dinesh Karthik might come in for Rishabh Pant who failed to impress with the bat and getting in Hanuma Vihari for Hardik Pandya can also be one way to go to strengthen the batting. India will like to get rid of the over-dependence on Virat Kohli who has amassed 544 runs in the series so far and has been by far the best batsman of the series.

Coach Shastri said India will not throw in the towel and come back strongly and this is what we expect from this Kohli-led Team India. It has been an evenly contested series which the scoreline 3-1 doesn't suggest and making it 3-2 is what India would want.

Catch all the action from the 5th Test at Kennington Oval in London, Friday, &th September onwards, 3:30 PM IST, 11:00 AM local time.
 

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