England bat first in the opening Test of the series against India

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England bat first in the opening Test of the series against India

England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat against India in the first of a five-Test series at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Root, in what was England’s 1,000th Test match, decided to bat on what looked like a typically good, straw-coloured pitch as the initially overcast skies above the Birmingham ground started to brighten up.

England had confirmed their team on Tuesday, with leg-spinner Adil Rashid selected as the lone specialist slow bowler despite not playing County Championship cricket for Yorkshire this season.

Rashid had been recalled on the strength of his form in limited overs internationals for what was the 11th Test of his career but first in England.

India, top of the Test rankings to England’s fifth, retained struggling opener Shikhar Dhawan, who got a pair in last week’s warm-up match against Essex, but there was no place in the side for fellow batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who had gone nine Test innings without a century and averaged only 14.33 in 12 Championship innings for Yorkshire this season.

Experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the lone specialist slow bowler in India’s line-up, with left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who caused England problems during the preceding white-ball series, omitted.

With Bhunvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah injured, India fielded Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav as their three frontline pace bowlers.

Teams

England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (capt), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curram, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (wkt), Hardik Pandya, Ravichndran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Chris Gaffaney (NZL)

TV umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

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