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England vs India 5th Test Preview + Dream 11 Predictions

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

A series that sits at 3-1 to England could easily be 2-2. Or even 3-1 to India.

The Oval will host the last Test of what has been quite an enthralling Test series, and here is hoping that the fact that it’s a dead rubber won’t mean a one-sided affair.

It’s simply incredible to think that England stare at the possibility of a 4-1 series win. If it indeed happens, that is no way a reflection of the closeness of the series. But, on the other hand, it is a representation of England’s excellent ability to win the key moments, and much of that can be put down to Sam Curran’s incredible performances. Now, England have extra motivation in Alastair Cook’s final Test to send him out a winner. The man has given so much to England Cricket, and I’m sure you will see England doing everything they can to see him smiling at game’s end.

For India, it’s once again what could have been. They could very well be sitting pretty at 3-1 up, but the key moments have eluded them. However, the prospect of a second Test win in a series in England should be cause for motivation, as they have only achieved this once before. Virat Kohli will once again be vital with the bat, and it will also be interesting to see what changes India make on the batting front. With the series over, it’s a good chance to provide invaluable experience to others in the squad.

Key to an England win

Despite further top order meltdowns, England managed to come away with a fantastic victory at Southampton.

Their top order still doesn’t inspire confidence, but can Alastair Cook go out on a high with one more big innings? What about Keaton Jennings, who continues to struggle, with Rory Burns looking over his shoulder? The likes of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow also need a better game, as you can’t always rely on the lower order to rescue you. You feel if the top order stands up, it will be one hell of an ask for India to fight their way back in the match.

Also, the magnificent performance of Moeen Ali in the 4th Test has given England the option of bringing in Chris Woakes instead of Adil Rashid, whose highlight in the 4th Test was getting punched in the face by Ben Stokes. With Woakes, England possess five genuine seam options, backed up by Moeen Ali, who simply loves playing against India at home.

You back this attack, in these conditions, to give the Indians another tough run.

Key to an India win

What has hurt India in this series is their inability to knock off the England middle and lower order.
With England 86/6 in Southampton, conceding 246 was a huge blow, and the performance of Ravichandran Ashwin topped off the disappointment. India simply must execute their plans better in this Test to finish off the series on a high.
Travelling to Australia after a 4-1 defeat to England is not ideal. The Australian media and public will remind you of it, so India need to continue focusing on their game away from home. 
Can the bowlers be ruthless right the way through? Can the spinner, whichever selected, show greater consistency and threat? Will there be more fruitful batting partnerships, especially in the middle-lower order, where England have completely dominated India? It remains to be seen.

Dream 11

I’ve heard lots about Dream 11, and have joined up to play for fun.
Below is my XI for the Test, with my thoughts below the image.
  • Jonny Bairstow takes the gloves and I have selected him. With Jos Buttler not keeping, Rishabh Pant takes the keeper spot. Still pondering whether Alastair Cook should get a run in the Dream 11, given its his last game and could go big.
  • Moeen Ali will do a good amount of bowling. Ben Stokes is in my team with Chris Woakes not playing.
  • Plenty of bowling in the team, with Sam Curran my vice captain given his strong batting efforts. Virat Kohli takes the captaincy, because well, he’s Virat Kohli.
If you’re in India, you can earn cash! You can register in a few seconds. Outside India? You can still enjoy the game more like I am in just a few clicks!

Possible teams:

England have confirmed their XI.

England XI: 1. Alastair Cook, 2. Keaton Jennings, 3. Moeen Ali, 4. Joe Root (c), 5. Ben Stokes, 6. Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7. Jos Buttler (wk), 8. Sam Curran, 9. Adil Rashid, 10. Stuart Broad, 11. James Anderson
For India, there is a possibility Prithvi Shaw could make his Test debut in place of either KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan. Also, Ravichandran Ashwin is said to be struggling with a groin problem, so Ravindra Jadeja could come in.
India possible XI: 1. Prithvi Shaw, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Cheteshwar Pujara, 4. Virat Kohli (c), 5. Ajinkya Rahane, 6. Rishabh Pant (wk), 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Ravindra Jadeja, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Ishant Sharma, 11. Jasprit Bumrah

Stats and Facts

  • Alastair Cook retires having played 158 consecutive Test matches – a world record. His 12,254 runs are the most by any English player, and is the only player from England with over 10,000 Test runs. Is there any chance of a U-Turn? Batting with Bimal reports here: https://battingwithbimal.com/2018/09/06/alastair-cook-retirement-u-turn/
  • Only once have India won two Tests in a single series in England. This was back in 1986.
  • Mick Jagger has pledged to donate £20,000 every time any player from either side scores a century or gets a 5-wicket haul to help Chance to Shine, a charity committed to taking cricket back into state school and other communities.
  • James Anderson needs five wickets to pass Glenn McGrath’s tally of 563 Test wickets to become the most prolific seamer in Test history.

Prediction

The weather in London promises to be good over the five days, so expect to see a result.
The Oval track should assist seamers predominantly on the first few days, with spin to play a role towards the back end of the Test.
Much depends on the toss, but with England keen to send Alastair Cook off as a winner, I think they will win here and take out the series 4-1.
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Like me, enjoy the Test even more with Dream 11. Register today!
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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