Monday, 8 August, 2022
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England bowl against India in delayed 5th Test

England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to field in the Covid-delayed fifth Test against India at Edgbaston on Friday.

The hosts made two changes to the team that completed a 3-0 rout of Test world champions New Zealand at Headingley on Monday, with all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson returing from an ankle problem to replace debutant stand-in Jamie Overton.

Sam Billings, a Covid substitute for Ben Foakes in Leeds, was behind the stumps again with England's first choice wicketkeeper still not fully fit.

Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September only to be postponed just hours before the scheduled start because of coronavirus concerns within the India camp

England's team contains just four survivors from the team -- Joe Root, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Anderson -- that lost to India at the Oval last year to fall 2-1 behind in a five-match series.

India were without captain Rohit Sharma on Friday due to the coronavirus, with fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah leading the side for the first time in his absence.

Cheteshwar Pujara, without a Test century since 2019, replaced Rohit at the top of the order having scored 720 runs in five matches for English county side Sussex earlier this season.

India are bidding for a first series win in England since 2007 and just their fourth in all after successes in 1971 and 1986.

By playing the game, albeit almost a year later in what has become the longest-running series in Test history, India are helping to fill what would be a £40 million ($48 million) hole in English cricket's finances.

Since September last year, England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison has left his post, as has chairman Ian Watmore.

Chris Silverwood is no longer the England coach and Joe Root has stepped down as captain.

Virat Kohli gave up the India captaincy in February and Ravi Shastri retired as India coach last November to be replaced by Rahul Dravid.

Teams

England: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (capt), Sam Billings (wkt), Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson

India: Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wkt), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah (capt)

Umpires: Marais Erasmus (RSA), Aleem Dar (PAK)

TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)