It’s been exactly ten months since the Test match at The Oval, and any lady who had conceived around that time in September 2021 would have delivered the baby to watch this brilliant encounter happen between India and England.
India had to postpone playing this match despite the 157-run victory last year due to Covid 19 fears, but the same danger has hit them back through their Skipper Rohit Sharma. He was declared ‘ positive ‘ on June 25th and did not bat in the match nor appear from the third day in the practice match against the Leicestershire team.
On the other hand, the Indians did well despite some fiery bowling from Roman Walker. With Rohit’s condition still uncertain, the choice is between Mayank Agarwal and KS Bharat, and the latter had a brilliant outing in the practice match..
India has to consider two things before choosing their Eleven for the match. Both are vital issues and are briefly discussed below:
- The Englishmen Form.
England knocked the Kiwis’ stuffing out in the recently concluded Test series. The Englishmen are one happy bunch under their new Skipper, who advocated a positive and aggressive approach compared to his predecessor Joe Root. Johnny Bairstow pummeled the Kiwis with his batting, and Jack Leach blunted the New Zealand batters. None in the team are out of ‘ form’.
- The pitch and history at Edgbaston Birmingham.
Indian Test History at this venue is a subject matter which every Indian cricket Historian would regret to write on. Indians have been defeated here six times in seven outings! Their only solace is the drawn match way back in 1986.
The pitch has plenty of ‘ juice’ for the fast bowlers, even under sunshine. One has to be aware of the intermittent showers in the venue now, and the same weather will continue till July 3rd. Therefore, overcast skies will aid swing more, and the Skipper who wins the toss would opt to bat first.
The pitch does turn disastrous on the final two days, with very low scores recorded. The toss is the clincher, and it’s becoming more apparent that Jasprit Bumrah might don the Skipper’s cap for this outing.
Considering all these factors, here is the prediction of the probable Indian XI.
- Shubman Gill
- KS. Bharat (Based on information regarding Rohit)
- C. Pujara
- Virat Kohli
- Shreyas Iyer( 50%)or Hanuman Vihari ( 50%)
- Rishabh Pant
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Ravi Ashwin (40 %) or Shardul Thakur (60%).
- Mohammad Shami
- Mohammad Siraj
- Jasprit Bumrah
In our opinion, Ashwin and Hanuman Vihari would ‘make the cut’ given that the ball may turn on Day 4 and Vihari has performed well last time.
It’s India’s pride which is at stake here. We quit England to resume IPL proceedings too. Now we are back to resume in England. Two new captains ; Will Bumrah ‘ Stoke’ the Indian aggression? Or will Stoke continue on the rampage? We would know soon enough!