England captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat against England at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Virat Kohli returned to the Indian cricket team after the paternity leave and will look to start the series on a positive note. The hosts made some interesting picks in their playing XI for the opening Test. Also Read - Rishabh Pant Reverse Sweeps James Anderson, Joe Root Says Doing That to Someone Who Has 600 Test Wickets is...
Rishabh Pant is picked over veteran Wriddhiman Saha for the wicketkeeper’s role after his impressive show during Australia tour. Also Read - Will Rohit Sharma Score Runs in England? Former India Wicketkeeper Answers
The hosts suffered a huge blow on Friday morning as Axar Patel has been ruled out of the opening Test after sustaining knee injury. Shahbaz Nadeem who is picked as his replacement also got his place in the playing XI. Also Read - Virat Kohli Shares New Picture of Baby Vamika And Anushka Sharma With an Empowering Note on Women's Day
Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal also missed out his place to young Shubman Gill.
For England senior players Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer returned to their playing XI after missing the Sri Lanka series.
Meanwhile, James Anderson has been picked over Stuart Broad for the opening Test as Archer’s pace bowling partner.
Kohli said he would have also elected to bat first and decide to go with the same batting order from Brisbane Test.
“Would have batted first as well. It was an amazing phase for us, having a child is an amazing feeling and combined with the way the team played in Australia,” Kohli said at the toss.
“We are not thinking about the Test championship at the moment, just take one game at a time. I come in, Ishant is back. Nadeem plays his second game, Ashwin and Washi, both are starting. Same batting order from the Brisbane Test.”
Root claims pitch will play a crucial role in the opening Test that’s why he opted to bat first.
“We are going to bat first. We are going to try and get the best of this wicket, think it will deteriorate as the game forward and maybe go up down for the seamers and take spin for the spinners,” said Root.
“I do enjoy playing cricket in India. Looking forward to a great series. It is going to be a different challenge once again. India are playing some fantastic cricket, we have to play at our best and we are very confident. Let me try to get this right. From the last game Crawley, Wood, Curran, Jonny… are missing. Archer, Stokes, Burns are in..” added Root.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Shahbaz Nadeem
England (Playing XI): Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(w), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, James Anderson