We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
The last six Tests have produced results at Edgbaston in Birmingham. From batters to seamers to spinners, the pitch has kept everyone interested in the recent past.
Rain could make its presence felt during the first two days. Thereafter, clear weather is forecast.
Probable XI for England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings (wk), Matty Potts, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jack Leach
Rohit Sharma is ruled out due to the Covid-19 virus.
Probable XI for India: Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Mayank Aagarwal/Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah (c), Mohammed Shami, Mohammad Siraj
Jonny Bairstow appears to be in the form of his life. His recent destruction of New Zealand bowlers at Nottingham and Leeds is a warning for India. In his last 7 Tests, he has smashed 4 scintillating hundreds. He has also been catching them easy in the slips.
When India last visited England for the first four Tests last year, Jasprit Bumrah was the leading wicket-taker (18) for the tourists. His short bursts will be crucial at Birmingham.
James Anderson will be the biggest threat to India. He took 11 wickets in 2 Tests against New Zealand. His battle with Virat Kohli will make for an intriguing contest.
Joe Root piled on the agony on the Indian bowlers in 2021 by scoring 564 runs at 94.00. He was also England’s Player of the Series against New Zealand for scoring 396 runs, including two centuries in 3 Tests.
Jack Leech was declared the Player of the Match at Headingley for claiming his first-ever ten-for. In the past, India have faltered to spin in English conditions. The left-arm spinner will be hoping for an encore.
Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj were impressive on their previous tour to England. The duo bagged 25 wickets between them. While Shami is super efficient with the new ball, Siraj is a captain’s delight for his ability to bowl extended spells.
Ollie Pope has been in decent touch lately with scores of 145, 18, 37*, 5 and 82. He could also be a value addition in fantasy leagues.
Captaincy doesn’t seem to have affected Ben Stokes one bit. He generated handy fantasy points with both bat and ball in the Tests against the Kiwis. Expect nothing less from this champion all-rounder going forward.
Although Zak Crawley is in the squad, his place is under serious threat given his lean run with the bat. He has managed only 142 runs in his last 10 innings at an average of 14.
Although India are leading the series 2-1, they will be the underdogs heading into the final Test. England, meanwhile, will be high on confidence after whitewashing New Zealand in the recently concluded three-match series. If skipper Rohit Sharma remains unavailable due to Covid-19, then the visitors will be further pushed on the backfoot.
Time: 1 July, 3.30 PM IST