England vs India, 2018: India's Predicted XI for 5th Test
What a Test series it has been? Barring the Lord's Test, every match has been a hard-fought affair. After winning the third Test at Trent Bridge, India began the fourth Test with a lot of confidence and intent. However, it was England who held their nerves to finish as the winning side in the fourth Test.
Once again the problem of finishing the game in the fourth innings became the villain for India in the fourth Test. Although 245 was too big a target to achieve, India was right back in the game, after losing three early wickets, with the help of a fantastic partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli. But, Kohli's wicket opened the gates for England as they hurried onto the Indian middle-order in no time.
India will now move to Kennington Oval in London for the last match in the straw. India will be short on confidence while moving to the fifth Test. However, the Indian team will look to end the series on a high.
India might make some changes for the fifth Test. Thus, let us look at India's probable XI for the fifth and last Test of the series.
#1 Openers: Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan
The opening combination has had been the fish-bone for both the teams at this tour. None of the openers (England and India) have been able to rake up runs in this tour. Moreover, after a sorry performance from the Indian openers, a change in the opening combination is quite inevitable for India in the fifth Test.
The Indian batting prodigy from Mumbai, Prithvi Shaw, is expected to get his first international game in the fifth Test against England after a dismal show by KL Rahul in the fourth Test. Shaw has been exceptional in the recent scheme of things. Hence, in Shaw, India might look to end their opening woes in the fifth Test. Nevertheless, the only hard decision between Shaw and KL would be the slip catching of the latter.
Meanwhile, the case of Shikhar Dhawan hasn't been any different. Dhawan has also struggled to convert his blistering starts into big scores. However, he hasn't been short of intent which has helped him run on to good starts. Thus, with umpteen abilities up his sleeve, Dhawan is least likely to get axed for the fifth Test.