The news from the center is that India won the toss and chose to bat first. Kohli was surprised to win the toss because he had lost the toss 8 back-to-back times.
Kohli said in the presentation after winning the toss that the pitch looks different and there is little grass. Also, the team thought about bringing Ashwin in but the extra pacers are valuable in these conditions. He also lauded the teammates for their previous performance and hopes that they keep the winning culture ahead. Kohli feels that Jadeja will have a much bigger role to play in this test. He credited the openers for their fantastic starts and admitted that English conditions are tough to bat especially for the openers. Speaking about his form, Kohli said that he believes in the process and doesn’t overthink since the team is performing brilliantly.
Root, on the other hand, said that he doesn’t mind bowling first since the pitch keeps getting better and better. Also, Root announced two main changes to their team. Dawid Malan and Craig Overton come in and Dom Sibley and Mark Wood miss out. Mark Wood had a shoulder injury due to which he misses out. Also, Root justified Overton’s selection by saying that Overton has been performing consistently in county conditions. On being pointed out the fact that England has had 22 opening pairs since Strauss retired, Root expressed confidence in his young openers saying, “It takes lots of courage and character to open in English conditions and he is proud of Burns and Hameed”.
India (Unchanged XI) – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.
England (Playing XI) – Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan (In for Dom Sibley), Joe Root (C), Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Craig Overton (In for Mark Wood), Ollie Robinson, James Anderson.
KL Rahul loses his wicket to Jimmy Anderson in the first over itself.KL Rahul went for a drive on a ball that was far away from the off stump and outside edged the ball. Butler took the catch comfortably. It was a poor shot selection and lack of patience since the ball should have been left. The whole British crowd rose on its feet and applauded Jimmy for his magnificent delivery. India’s openers were performing consistently and now India needs some serious help from its go-to man in tests: Chesteshwar Pujara. Pujara will have the responsibility of taking some time off the game and surviving on the crease.