Birmingham: England won the toss and asked India to field first in the opening Test of the five-match series here at Edgbaston cricket ground on Wednesday.
Following the toss, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said, “I think it’ll be a good batting wicket but we wanted to get maximum out of the ball on day one. There’s always excitement and anticipation – it’s a long series. We’ve to do well at different stages. The boys are well prepared. Comfortable with our skill sets and preparations. The pitch looks different from last time: the results haven’t gone our way before here but we’re not a team that carries baggage.”
Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root said that the preparations have gone pretty well and that they are now just looking forward to deliver on the field.
India, under the leadership of Kohli, will look to banish their horrors from 2014’s humiliating Test series defeat on English soil in the current series.
Having gained some momentum from the victory in the T20I series and the considerable challenge they mounted in the ODIs, India will be set to prove their doubters wrong and spoil England’s 1000th Test match party with a victory in the first Test.
From getting the correct opening pair on the pitch to negotiate the threat of Broad and Anderson, the middle order to build a solid inning, the pacers to rattle the English openers, to the combination of spin and pace, everything needs to be scrutinized thoroughly.
India, however, will miss the services of pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar because of their respective injuries.
The two squads are as follows:
India Playing XI: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (capt.), Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma
England Playing XI: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (capt.), Dawid Malan,
Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.