India will be taking on England in the fifth and final Test of the ongoing five-match rubber at The Oval beginning Friday. India have already conceded the series after they lost the fourth Test in Southampton by 60 runs. And they would be playing for a pride and as middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane said, would end to finish the tour on a winning note in London. Also Read - COVID-19: KL Rahul Plays With Pet During Coronavirus-Enforced Lockdown, Hardik Pandya Reacts | WATCH VIDEO
A scoreline of 2-3 will definitely look much better than 1-4 and the visitors will be desperately hoping to win. And Virat Kohli’s men would be desperate to make that happen as not only to regain some lost pride but also spoil what would be former England skipper Alastair Cook’s farewell Test. The team was seen sweating it out at the nets on both Wednesday and Thursday and polishing their skills in order to earn what would be a consolation win. Also Read - COVID-19: Ajinkya Rahane Joins Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Donates Rs 10 Lakh to Coronavirus Relief Fund
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Meanwhile, on Thursday, Mayanti Langer, cricket presenter and wife of Indian cricketer Stuart Binny, shared a video in which Pandya brothers (Krunal and Hardik) are seen showing their dancing skills. Mayanti posted the video on her official Twitter handle and captioned it: “Hardik Pandya preparing for Oval test with belly dance My god those steps #ENGvIND”
India could go in with a couple of changes in the final Test. Ravichandran Ashwin, who was seen staying away from the practice session owing to his fitness, will be, in all likelihood, replaced by Ravindra Jadeja. Another change that the team management could make is to handover Hanuma Vihari his debut cap. And if he comes in the playing XI, all-rounder Hardik will have to face the axe.
In four Tests in England, Pandya has been India’s fourth-highest run-maker with 164 at 23.42, including one half-century. He’s also taken 10 wickets at 24.70, including a five-wicket haul. Both the fifty and the five-for came in the same Test, in India’s victory at Trent Bridge. Apart from the six overs in which he ran through England’s middle and lower order in that Test, his bowling figures look a little less impressive – five wickets in five innings at an average of 43.8 and a strike rate of nearly 70.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
England: Joe Root (c), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes