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Veteran star fit as England announce playing XI for India Test

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England have announced their playing XI for the rescheduled fifth Test against India at Edgbaston starting Friday, 1 July.

James Anderson has been declared fit for the Test against India at Edgbaston. The veteran star sustained an ankle injury that kept him out of the final Test against New Zealand but a well-rested Anderson is fit and raring to go against India.

Sam Billings will don the gloves behind the stumps for England in the absence of Ben Foakes. Foakes was in a race against time to be fit for the Test after testing positive for Covid-19 in the middle of the third Test against New Zealand in Headingley. 

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Billings, who came into the XI as a Covid replacement, has retained his place in the side. 

Playing XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Sam Billings (wk), Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson.

England are trailing 2-1 in the series against India currently but the current team is a whole different side than the one that was in disarray a year ago.

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A change in leadership at the top – Brendon McCullum has taken over as head coach while Joe Root has handed over the captaincy to Ben Stokes – has breathed a new lease of life into the England Test team, as evidenced by their 3-0 whitewash of World Test Championship holders New Zealand. 

While MRF Tyres World No.1 ICC Test batter Joe Root continues to be the backbone of the lineup, others too have started to put their hands up lately. Jonny Bairstow has brought his destructive abilities from white-ball cricket into Tests and has become a game-changer for England in a very short time.

Apart from the incentive of salvaging a draw in the series, England will also be looking to bag crucial WTC23 points. They are currently seventh in the table with a point percentage of 28.89 and will be looking to close the gap with West Indies at sixth.

The final match against India will be a true test of England's new-look red-ball team.

 

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