Former India batter Mohammad Kaif has shared his choice of playing XI for the Indian team for the upcoming rescheduled fifth Test against England which will be played at Edgbaston from July 1 onwards. This match is a continuation of the 5-match 2021 Test series which India leads 2-1.
Both the teams have undergone a few changes from the last time they met in England, as India will now be captained by Rohit Sharma and England will be led by Ben Stokes. India will also miss the services of Ajinkya Rahane, who is injured.
Since then, Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer have become regular members of the side. However, Cheteshwar Pujara with a string of fabulous performances in the County Championship has again put his name in the mix to be included in the playing XI.
Mohammad Kaif, while speaking on India TV, revealed his India playing XI for the fifth Test match. He left out Shreyas Iyer in favor of in-form Cheteshwar Pujara. Iyer has played 4 Tests and averaged 55 with a century on his Test debut.
However, with Pujara scoring 720 runs in 5 County matches in the UK, the veteran batter is likely to be preferred at No. 3 with Hanuma Vihari moving to the no.5 spot.
Kaif said, "Pujara has been in fantastic form in England and I think he might get the opportunity to bat at No. 3 while Shreyas Iyer who hasn't played an overseas Test match might have to wait for his chance."
Kaif also talked about the new-look England team under Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
"This is a very different England side. The moment McCullum became the coach of this side, this team is playing attacking cricket, this team is chasing targets, they are not playing for a draw. The match that India won at Lord's last year, that England team was bundled inside 50 overs, this is not that team. Root has been in fantastic form, so India will have to work hard, beating this England team won't be that easy," Kaif added.
Mohammad Kaif's playing XI for Edgbaston Test:
Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja/R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah