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KL Rahul at No.4 in place of Kohli, Bharat over Jurel; Axar or Kuldeep? India’s likely XI for 1st Test vs England

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India Predicted XI against. England in First Test: KL Rahul is probably going to bat fourth. The only difficult decision is whether to make, Kuldeep Yadav or Axar Patel.

Inclusion of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in Starting XI

KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer’s inclusion in the starting XI for Thursday’s series opener in Hyderabad was informally confirmed when Virat Kohli withdrew from the first two Tests against England for personal reasons. Rahul’s decision to free himself of keeping responsibilities so that India could play an extra batter was the sole uncertainty, but head coach Rahul Dravid quickly dispelled any suspicions. So, who will take the gloves off—uncapped Dhruv Jurel or KS Bharat? Although Dravid didn’t specifically designate a favorite, it was easy to determine who was leading after what happened in India’s practise sessions.

For the first time since losing to Australia in the World Test Championship final last year, Bharat is likely to return to the Test team. The Andhra Pradeshi player hasn’t done anything with the bat in his five innings—an average of 18 with a peak score of 44—that would strengthen his selection. However, while playing in India, where taking on players like Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin without a bat is seen to be more difficult, his exceptional glovework makes all the difference.

kl rahul

Bharat as keeper

Rahul was perfect while he was in South Africa. Rahul, a seasoned ODI keeper, made his debut as a specialist keeper in the Centurion Test with a brilliant century. He handled the DRS calls quite well and kept his gloves neat. The one notable error he made was dropping Aiden Markram in the second innings of the Cape Town Test. He had every right to start the match against England before Bharat and Jurel.

However, staying in India is a whole other story. The ball often kicks and bites the surface, and sometimes it shoots low to shine aloft. The fact that Rahul had to be a pillar of the middle order in Kohli’s absence made it obvious that the team management didn’t want him to shoulder all that responsibility.

Rahul at position four

Rajat Patidar may have received the Test cap from India. The 30-year-old was brought into the team to take Kohli’s spot. However, the management didn’t think it was necessary to play an additional batter since Jadeja and Ashwin were skilled hitters in home circumstances.

Who, however, will bat fourth? Despite his lackluster performances in the last few games, Shubman Gill will start at No. 3 with captain Rohit Sharma and rookie batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal. Rahul and Iyer are the options at No. 4 now that Kohli is out of the picture. Due to his experience, the former should be chosen. At position five, Iyer, a superior spin player, may initiate contact.

When Mohammed Shami is not available, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami choose to be the two front-line seamers. Jadeja and Ashwin also do so. The only point of contention will be over whether to follow Kuldeep Yadav’s wrist spin or Axar’s finger spin.

Kuldeep broadens the attack’s range. Jadeja and Axar have similar personalities, but the tall Gujarati player gives the batting more depth. Over the last several years, his services at No. 9 have been vital. He would also be better equipped to take advantage of Hyderabad’s fluctuating bounce with his high-arm motion. During the last England visit to India, Axar claimed over thirty wickets in three games.

India’s expected starting lineup against England in the first Test

Rohit Sharma ©, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Shubman Gill are in first place.

Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul are middle-order

Wicketman: Bharat S

Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin are all-arounders and spinners.

Mohamed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah are the pacers.

Read More: INDIA IN POOL B OF PARIS OLYMPICS HOCKEY COMPETITION

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