The rescheduled fifth Test match between India and England in Birmingham is less than two weeks away. The game was scheduled to be played in September last year if not for COVID-19 cases in the Indian team. India are leading the series after winning the fourth Test played at the Oval last year. They are leading the series by a 2-1 margin and have ensured that they won’t lose the series at least.
It is unusual for the bilateral games to be rescheduled like this. However, the game and the series are part of the World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle which is why it was important for both teams that this game was played. Meanwhile, a lot has changed for both teams in the last nine months. In this listicle, we will discuss four changes made in both teams since they last met.
Four changes in the last few months
- Change in Captaincy
Both teams have gone through captaincy change in this phase. Joe Root was under severe criticism after England performed badly with only two wins since the Sri Lanka tour early last year. A few months ago, the Yorkshire player left the job after which Ben Stokes took over.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli left the leadership across formats one by one, besides being removed from the ODI captaincy. He was expected to lead the Test team for a considerable period but after the series loss in South Africa, he stepped down and Rohit Sharma took over.
- Change as Head Coach
Ravi Shastri left the job on his own terms while Chris SIlverwood was sacked. Shastri’s tenure ended after the 20-20 World Cup last year and didn’t seek extension. On the other hand, Silverwood was sacked after the Ashes 2021-22 drubbing. However, this wasn’t the only reason for his sacking. His selection of playing XI was under heavy criticism in the course of one year.
3. Change in the opening pair
India played with the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul while England played with Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed. For India, Rahul won’t be playing this time around as he is going to Germany for his groin operation. On the other hand, Burns and Hameed have been discarded and replaced by Alex Lees and Zak Crawley.
4. Change in vice-captaincy
Ajinkya Rahane was the vice-captain of the Indian team while Ben Stokes was the vice-captain of England. Stokes has been promoted while Rahane was discarded after his string of failures. Notably, Rishabh Pant is the deputy of Sharma for the upcoming fifth Test, while the Three Lions are yet to announce their new vice-captain.