India-England Combined XI
India's long tour of England came to a close on Tuesday with a 118- run defeat to the hosts at The Oval that meant they return home having lost this series 4-1.
Despite a terrific rearguard action from KL Rahul and Rishab Pant, who put on 204 runs for the sixth wicket but once both fell, the Indian tail failed to wag and from 298 for 6 at Tea, they succumbed to 345 all out.
Batting right throughout this series was tough thanks to some fine fast bowling as well as hard pitches combining to make life hard for the batters and so it was a difficult choice to decide who fits the bill and hence this XI has been made with players who struggled quite a bait, but shined in the odd innings during the series.
If you saw Alastair Cook bat in the first eight innings of this series and then saw his name on this list, you would be forgiven to think I was crazy. But Cook redeemed himself in his farewell Test at The Oval, when he made scores of 71 and 147 to help his side take ascendancy in the contest.
It was the kind of performance which Joe Root and his side would have hoped to have seen from Cook for the large part of the series, but it seemed like having announced his decision to retire post this game removed every bit of clutter from his mind and it meant that for one last time the world could witness the best of him.
Another candidate in this list featuring solely because of his performance in one Test match. Heading into The Oval Test, KL Rahul was a man in search for runs. He had begun the tour with a hundred at Old Trafford, but those days seemed way too far away for him right now.
On Tuesday, he decided to show some form from that day at The Oval with a terrific inning of 149 which kept India in the hunt before he was dismissed by an absolute jaffa from Adil Rashid.