England skipper Joe Root on Thursday evening announced the playing XI for the fifth and final Test against India beginning September 7 at the Oval in London. Root will play the unchanged team for the final Test against the visitors, who are already 1-3 down in the 5-match series. Jonny Bairstow will keep wicket after recovering from a broken middle finger, while Alastair Cook will play in his 161st and final Test after announcing his retirement from international cricket on Monday.
With the playing XI for the fifth Test finalised, it seems that Root and the team management have decided not to fiddle with the winning combination. Moeen Ali, after his superb 9-wicket haul in the Southampton Test will continue to lead England’s spin attack. Adil Rashid, who has been ineffective in the series so far, has also retained his place in the team.
Pacer duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad will once again start for England while all-rounders Ben Stokes and Sam Curran will fulfil the duties of the third and fourth seamer in the team.
In the batting department, opener Keaton Jennings has managed to retain his place for the final Test alongside Alastair Cook, who will play the final Test.
Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes were in the original 13-member squad but have not made into the playing XI.
After registering a 60-run win in the fourth Test, England already have an unassailable lead in the series. But as opener Cook retires after the forthcoming Test, England will look to bid farewell to their highest run-scorer of all time with a win.
England team for fifth Test: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Moeen Ali, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (w), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson.