With a 2-1 lead, England come into the fifth Test as favourites and are keen to win the series while India will try to level the series. After the defeat at Lords, the hosts bounced back and trounced the visitors in back-to-back Tests quite substantially. Alastair Cook’s men seem to have got the much needed impetus while Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men looked jaded. As fifth and final test between India and England starts tomorrow at the Oval, we take a look at five England players who can help their team seal the series.
1. James Anderson: It will be foolish not to include James Anderson on this list. Anderson, who is the leading wicket-taker this series with 21 wickets, now needs just eight wickets to surpass Ian Botham’s England Test record of 383. He has troubled Indian batsmen with his swing in the preceding Tests and will once again pose a strong threat.
2. Moeen Ali: Second on the list on most wickets this series is spinner Moeen Ali with 19 wickets. He has been a revelation for England and has done surprisingly well to fit in Graeme Swann’s shoes so far. Pre-series Moeen was in the team as a batting all-rounder, but has caught Indian batsmen off-guard with his spin bowling. He has forced Indian batsmen to do mistakes against him and will be jubilant to face them once again.
3. Gary Ballance: While bowlers have made England proud batsmen have not been that far behind, young Gary Ballance is the top run-getter in the series so far with 439 runs under his belt. Ballance is the only batsman to get past 100-run mark twice this series and has with ease changed gears to pile runs. Early on in his career Ballance has dominated the opposition.
4. Ian Bell: With England finding lost rhythm in the series senior player Ian Bell stepped in with fine performance and looked positive since then. Bell’s ability to score emphatically makes him a dangerous batsman.
5. Alastair Cook: Our dark horse for this Test will be England skipper Alistair Cook. Captain Cook was under the cosh after Lords defeat and has led his team well to bounce back. His form personally was also a concern for England Team but in third Test at Southampton he managed to register two half-centuries. Now he will be eager to end series on a high note and make sure England win the series.