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England v India

Wisden’s England-India team of the Test series

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Powered by their openers and Jasprit Bumrah, India marched into a 2-1 series lead over England prior to the cancellation of the fifth Test. Here’s a combined XI featuring players from both sides, based purely on performances in the four Tests:

Rohit Sharma

368 runs @ 52.57, one hundred; two fifties, HS: 127

There were a lot of question marks over Rohit Sharma’s credentials as a Test batsman in overseas conditions, but the opener silenced them once and for all, ending the series as the second-highest run-scorer. He batted through testing periods and saw off the new ball more often than not, and was India’s best player in the series.

KL Rahul

315 runs @ 39.37, one hundred, one fifty, HS: 129

Rohit’s partner at the top, Rahul was only one of three batsmen to end up with more than 300 runs in the series. He faced 735 deliveries and grabbed onto his chances after injuries to Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal opened the door for him.

Cheteshwar Pujara

227 runs @ 32.42, two fifties; HS: 91

Pujara invariably found ways to contribute when his team was in trouble on the tour. He scored two fifties but his best effort was arguably the 206-ball 45 at Lord’s that laid the platform for India’s comeback in the game.

Joe Root

564 runs @ 94, three hundreds; one fifty; HS: 180*

No other England batsman scored more than 200 runs in the series, which further highlights how crucial Root’s contributions were. Once the most criticised batsman in the Fab Four, the English skipper has managed to silence his naysayers in style.

Virat Kohli

218 runs @ 31.14, two fifties; HS: 55

Though Kohli did not have the best series with the bat, his captaincy was on the mark more often than not and will lead the side as a result. He looked good at the crease in patches but failed to get that elusive 71st international ton, which has kept us waiting since November 2019.

Jonny Bairstow

184 runs @ 26.28, one fifty; HS: 57

He got starts in the series but will be disappointed at not carrying on. With Rishabh Pant looking tentative in the middle, barring his single fifty, Bairstow has been selected as the keeper of the side.

Shardul Thakur

117 runs @ 39, two fifties; HS: 60
7 wickets @ 22; no five-fors; BBI: 2/22

Shardul Thakur was the game-changer in the fourth Test, with his two fifties in as many innings completely changing the complexion of the game. He even managed to dismiss dangerman Root in the second innings, and, almost like Sam Curran in 2018, became the player who ‘made things happen.’

Chris Woakes

68 runs @ 34, one fifty; HS: 50
Seven wickets @ 19.71; no five-fors; BBI: 4-54

Returning after almost a year, Chris Woakes showed just why he is an integral part of the England Test side. He scored 50 at The Oval and picked up a crucial four-for with the ball, both in the first innings.

Jasprit Bumrah

18 wickets @ 20.83, one five-for; BBI: 5-64

The fast bowler ended as the team’s highest wicket-taker in the series, and also became the fastest quick from India to get 100 Test wickets, in just 24 matches. His spell after lunch at The Oval on day five and his batting heroics at Lord’s deserve special mention.

Ollie Robinson

21 wickets @ 21.33, two five-fors; BBI: 5-65

The leading wicket-taker across both sides, Robinson was a revelation, picking up two five-fors in the series. No other player picked as many five-wicket hauls, and his performances further strengthened his case as one of the most talented seam bowlers around.

James Anderson

15 wickets @ 24.66, one five-for; BBI: 5-62

The 39-year old was often a thorn-in-the-side for Virat Kohli once again and showed that age is just a number with his brilliant five-for at Lord’s.

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