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Ind vs Eng 5th Test: England To Bat First After Winning Toss; Padikkal to Debut

#INDvsENG | Devdutt Padikkal is making his Test debut for India

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Cricket
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England skipper Ben Stokes won the toss in the fifth Test of the ongoing five-match Test series against India, and opted to bat first. The culmination match of the tour is being played at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala.

India have made two changes to their playing XI for this match. Rajat Patidar, who has had underwhelming returns in the last three matches, is not featuring on the team sheet, while 23-year-old left-handed batter from Karnataka, Devdutt Padikkal is handed his Test debut.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), however, confirmed that Patidar's omission was owing to an injury-related concern. "Rajat Patidar got hit on his left ankle during Team India's practice session on 6th March, 2024. He pulled up sore on the morning of the game and was not available for selection for the 5th Test," they stated.

Elsewhere in the bowling department, Akash Deep has had to make way for the returning Jasprit Bumrah, whilst Mohammed Siraj retains his place in the team.

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"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. It is a good pitch to bat on and I don't think it will deteriorate that much," said Indian skipper Rohit Sharma after the toss.

Speaking about Ravichandran Ashwin, who is playing his 100th Test for the nation, Sharma added "Ashwin has been a real stalwart of Indian cricket. It is such a proud moment for him, his nation and the family. We will be rooting for him to do the magic."

India Playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal, Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.

England Playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, Mark Wood, James Anderson.

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From the perspective of this particular series, its fate has already been sealed after three consecutive victories of the Indian cricket team. Losing the first Test in Hyderabad by 28 runs, India made a remarkable comeback, winning by 106 runs in Visakhapatnam, by 434 runs in Rajkot, and by five wickets in Ranchi.

However, crucial 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship points will be at stake in this match, making it an important affair. With five wins in eight matches and a PCT (percentage of points won out of total points contested) of 64.58%, India are occupying the first position in the standings. England, at the opposite end of the spectrum, are reeling in the eighth position with a PCT of only 19.44%.

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