Wasteful England hand India early advantage

Toss England chose to bat v India
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Alastair Cook wasn’t quite grinning ear to ear when he won the toss on Mohali, but there was certainly a hint of relief that he was able to give his batsmen first use of a dry, cracked surface that was expected to spin from early in the match.

There was late intrigue with the India side. They had already been forced to make one injury-related change with wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel recalled, for his first Test in eight years, in place of Wriddhiman Saha, and his comeback took another twist on the morning of the game when he was slated to open the batting. KL Rahul exacerbated an injury in the nets yesterday and, with India not having a spare opener in the squad, they opted to give a debut to 24-year-old Karun Nair at No. 6.

The BCCI said that Rahul sustained a blow to his left forearm while fielding in Vizag and he feels uncomfortable batting so the medical staff have advised him to rest.

England announced two of their changes yesterday – Jos Buttler replacing Ben Duckett and Chris Woakes coming in for the injured Stuart Broad – and the third was confirmed shortly before the toss when Gareth Batty, the Surrey offspinner, was included in place of Zafar Ansari.

Buttler was the most talked-about inclusion, making a Test return after more than a year out of the side and in that time he has only played one first-class match. Even the England camp agree it is a far from ideal situation, but they are hoping that Buttler’s ability to seize the big occasion will serve him well. He will bat at No. 7 with Moeen Ali moving to No. 4 and Jonny Bairstow to No. 5.

India 1 M Vijay, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Karun Nair, 7 R Ashwin, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Jayant Yadav, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Mohammed Shami

England 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Haseeb Hameed, 3 Joe Root, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jos Buttler, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Gareth Batty, 11 James Anderson

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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