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Home » National » 5th Test: Devdutt Padikkal debuts as England win toss, to bat first vs India

5th Test: Devdutt Padikkal debuts as England win toss, to bat first vs India

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Dharamshala, March 7

Left-handed batter Devdutt Padikkal has been handed his debut cap as England won the toss and elected to bat first against India in the fifth and final Test of the series at the HPCA Stadium on Thursday.

India have already taken unassailable 3-1 lead, but with 12 World Test Championship points still up for grabs, they would be aiming to win at Dharamshala and make the scoreline 4-1. The fifth Test is a milestone game for Ravichandran Ashwin and Jonny Bairstow, with the India off-spinner and England wicketkeeper-batter set to play their 100th Test match, respectively.

While Bairstow is the 17th men’s player from England to grab his 100th Test cap, Ashwin becomes the 14th player from India to complete 100 Test match appearances. England have opted to bring in Mark Wood in place of Ollie Robinson, who hasn’t travelled to the ground due to a stomach bug.

“You probably have a bat looking at this pitch. It’s another opportunity to represent our country. Great experience for the boys to be part of this series and they have showed great character in their fight.

“Amazing (to see Bairstow playing his 100th Test)! Jonny is one of our best ever all format players. 100 Test caps shows his commitment. Nice moment a few minutes ago when he got the cap with his family around,” said England captain Ben Stokes.

On the other hand, India have made two changes: Jasprit Bumrah comes back for Akash Deep after being rested for the Ranchi Test, while Padikkal, who averages 44.54 in first-class cricket, debuts in place of Rajat Patidar, who injured himself during training last evening.

A statement from the BCCI said right-handed batter Patidar got hit on his left ankle during the practice session and pulled up sore on the morning of the game, thus making him not available for selection.

“We would have batted first as well. We have done really well so far this series and an opportunity to finish on a high. There should be good bounce on this pitch than the games before in this series.

“Good pitch to bat on and I don’t think it will deteriorate that much. Ash has been a real stalwart of Indian cricket. Such a proud moment for him, his nation and the family. We will be rooting for him to do the magic,” said captain Rohit Sharma.

Playing XIs

India: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal, Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, Mark Wood and James Anderson

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