The most anticipated bilateral Test series of the year has come to its final showdown. The visiting Indian team is currently leading the series 2-1 after registering an emphatic victory over the hosts at The Oval earlier this week. The fifth Test was doubtful till yesterday after a member of India’s support staff tested positive for COVID-19. The green light for the fifth Test was received after the players of the Indian team tested negative for the virus. The final Test of the series will be played at Old Trafford in Manchester, the first ball will be played at 3:30 PM IST.
India will be heading into this game on the back of a 157-run win over England in the fourth Test. The tourists’ victory at that particular venue came after 50 years that allowed the Indian team to lead the series 2-1. Apart from the team’s run machines, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, the Indian batsmen who to struggled earlier in the series seem to have regained their form. With Virat Kohli’s consistent contributions, Cheteshwar Pujara’s positive intent, Rishab Pant’s sensible approach along Shardul Thakur’s counterattack, the Indian team has emerged as a batting prowess. India will be heading into this fixture on a positive note considering their performance in the previous game. A draw or victory in the final game would seal the series for the hosts.
On the other hand, England head into the final Test with the batting disorder. The English batsmen haven’t contributed enough with the bat throughout the series apart from Joe Root. The English skipper has stood for his team on various occasions in the series and has given a tough fight to the Indians. England had to play without their prime bowlers Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad but with the likes of James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson in full flow, the things have worked well for them in the bowling department. England needs a desperate victory in the final Test to draw the series 2-2.
India – The head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and a member from the Indian contingent have tested positive for COVID-19. The players were tested negative yesterday due to which the fifth Test match is going ahead as planned. India is likely to rest Ajinkya Rahane and Jasprit Bumrah for the final game.
England – The hosts agreed for the fifth Test after the Indian players tested negative. England might make some changes in their middle order.