Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja inspire thrilling India counter-attack on first day against England

·47 min read
Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja inspire thrilling India counter-attack in first Test against England - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja inspire thrilling India counter-attack in first Test against England - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

Ben Stokes could not bring himself to look at the England wicketkeeper Sam Billings as the ball flew through fine leg for four byes.

Stokes had just bowled a half-tracker so off course Billings would have needed arms the length of rowing blades to stop it as England reeled, discombobulated by a counter-attacking Rishabh Pant turning the guns on them for a change.

It was soon followed by four overthrows by Zak Crawley and Pant hitting a one-handed six off Jack Leach in an over that cost 22 runs. From 99 for five, after being sent in under heavy cloud cover, Pant had rescued India with a showstopping hundred off 89 balls that made you wonder if it was Jonny Bairstow in disguise.

England were flat and ragged, the attack one paced, too, without a bit more zip off someone like James Overton, as India reached 338-7 with Pant fuelling them at 4.6 an over.

With one hand or two hands on the bat, it did not matter, Pant still managed to hit sixes off Leach, who bowled at nearly eight an over and must have felt like he was in Brisbane, not Birmingham. Matthew Potts was England’s most dangerous seamer until Pant got after him, too, messing up his figures.

For too long England persevered with Leach to left-hander Pant in the hope he would give it away. Eventually it was Joe Root, turning the ball away from the bat, who broke through, Pant swinging hard at a wider ball that flew to slip.

By then Pant had made 146 off 111 balls with 19 fours and four sixes and had another 19 to score four more and set a new record for the fastest 150 against England. His innovative batting would be so suited for this England side, but there was control to this innings, too. He did land flat on his back a couple of times, giving everything to the shot, but he played mainly orthodox strokes until he was well set and tried to reverse scoop James Anderson. His defence was very solid, and temperament mature.

He picked the right balls to attack and chose his spots around the ground. This was a calculated counterpunch but intent was signalled by his first ball from Anderson towards which he advanced down the pitch just as Stokes had done to New Zealand. This was gutsy, too. He tweaked a hamstring at one stage and needed treatment on a hand injury.

Jadeja sat back and mainly watched the action from the other end, Pant scored 133 of their 222 stand for the sixth wicket off 239 balls.

Stokes was plagued by no balls, bowling 10 in the day, but one extra ball at Shardul Thakur brought a second late wicket, a bouncer taking the glove.

The 10.30am start was flagged up by Warwickshire to ticket buyers several weeks ago but there were still many empty seats for the start of play. There was a hollow feeling going into this Test. It felt like picking up a novel you have previously given up on but the attacking nature of both sides means it will take on a character of its own, another thriller is forming.

Stokes bowled first, not just because England like chasing now as if Test cricket is played with a white ball but because it was overcast and damp. Shubman Gill looked good for half an hour but was stuck on the crease, pushing at a ball a touch wider from Anderson, Zak Crawley taking a regulation slip catch.

Anderson dragged back his length realising the ball was not swinging but when he sensed a bit more movement through the air he pitched it up. Cheteshwar Pujara had been watchful but the edge when it came was off a beauty from Anderson.

A two-hour rain break gave Hanuma Vihari plenty of time to work out why he had been groping against the moving ball. A drop by Crawley off Potts shortly after the restart gave him a chance to regroup but it was not a costly miss. Potts pitching up and hitting the knee roll for a plumb lbw.

The aura around Virat Kohli has dimmed. He has not scored a hundred since 2019, and last year was drowning in balls outside off stump in England, not sure what to play or leave. Potts has a confidence beyond his years and the fast bowler’s temperament in that he is not a respecter of reputations. Three times he removed Kane Williamson, now it was Kohli’s turn. He was late on a leave and bowled off the inside edge.

Shreyas Iyer fiddled at one down the leg side off Anderson, Billings taking the best catch of his Test career to date, flying to his left to cling on.

JULY 01: Rishabh Pant of India celebrates getting 100 runs during the first day of the fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 1, 2022 in Birmingham, England - GETTY IMAGES
JULY 01: Rishabh Pant of India celebrates getting 100 runs during the first day of the fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 1, 2022 in Birmingham, England - GETTY IMAGES

But this followed the summer’s script, of early top-order wickets and a lower order stand. Root thought he might have caught Jadeja at slip but the close up replay ended hopes. Pant did not offer a chance. He was 50 off 51 balls, and needed only 38 more for his hundred, motoring as Leach came on and Stokes kept the fields up.

Pant went into the 90s with a four over wide mid on off Leach and was not hanging around. The India coach Rahul Dravid, so reserved and calm, punched the air when he made his hundred, the new way of playing Test cricket is infecting even the coolest of heads.

Pant gives Potts a lesson in composure

By Scyld Berry at Edgbaston

It was the opening day of his fourth Test match – and even then it was not until five o’clock on a sunny and breezy afternoon – before Matthew Potts revealed to England supporters that he is not, as yet, a complete bowler.

This was the first day that England, under their new leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, lost their hold on proceedings. During India’s sixth-wicket partnership between the conventional Ravi Jadeja and the utterly unconventional Rishabh Pant, a wheel or two came off while India’s run rate soared at a Bairstowian rate; yet Potts’ engine was still revving and racing until the close.

The first moment of naivety occurred when Potts ran in, as quick and straight as the balls he bowls, and delivered two consecutive bouncers at Pant, well-ensconced. Both were legside bouncers, not bowled across India’s lefthander, and Pant had only to help them round the corner to pick up risk-free boundaries: two donations to the century stand which gave India, by a small yet distinct margin, the opening day of what felt like a one-off Test rather than the fifth of a series.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Matthew Potts of England celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli of India (NOT PICTURED) with team mates Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope during the first day of the fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 1, 2022 - GETTY IMAGES
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Matthew Potts of England celebrates dismissing Virat Kohli of India (NOT PICTURED) with team mates Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope during the first day of the fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 1, 2022 - GETTY IMAGES

Until that moment, when he came up against Pant in the mood to prove that he could outstoke Stokes, Potts had been outstandingly mature for a 23 year-old who has taken fewer than 100 first-class wickets.

New Zealand, however, in the first three Tests of this summer, had allowed England to bowl, without seeking to dominate. Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell, for all their doggedness, never reverse-scooped as Pant did along with all his other cross-batted improvisations.

Against New Zealand, Potts had gone for only 2.59 runs per over. Many pots leak; not this one. Not until Pant pointed up the first flaw in Potts’ make-up, and made him concede five runs an over in his first sobering day of Test cricket – and four of those runs were overthrows.

Even this relatively chastening day for Potts had its highlight. Not halfway through his fourth Test, Potts has dismissed Kane Williamson three times; Mitchell, New Zealand's bulwark, three times; and Virat Kohli, the recently dethroned king of Indian cricket, once.

It has been quite a week to see how former champions have dealt with the dying of the light. At Wimbledon, Serena Williams tried to turn back the clock and, in the end, appeared to accept time’s inevitability; Andy Murray raged as intensely as ever, not prepared to make any concession to age, before having to bow out.

Four years ago, when Kohli had England in his hands at Edgbaston, his energy had filled the stands. On this occasion Kohli, after he dragged a wide ball from Potts into his stumps in the act of withdrawal, tucked his bat under his arm and left much as Williams had with her rackets. Maybe Kohli does not accept his end is nigh, and maybe it is not, but he cannot live much longer on former glories. His last century of any international kind was back in November 2019.

Potts has not been a junior partner. At least until Pant went after him, he had been the equal of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, no less in pace, or wickets, or knowing what to bowl. So complete for his age, so rounded, he had not even bowled a no-ball until the opening day of his fourth Test.

Potts, though, does share one trait with Broad. When he pinned Hanuma Vihari leg-before, with a nip-backer which struck below the knee-roll, he raced through to his slip-fielders to celebrate without a moment’s doubt about the verdict.

England’s pace-bowling debutant of last summer, Ollie Robinson, bowled his own way: a long opening spell of eight overs; another spell in the afternoon, and a third in the evening, but diminishing in speed and impact. Robinson bowled for England on his own terms, Potts bowls for England on theirs. Like his fellow Durham bowlers, Stokes and Mark Wood, Potts steams in until the day’s last ball; and, in method, he is much like another Durham and England pace bowler, Graham Onions.

A slower ball and yorker would have been worth unleashing when Pant was plundering, but they will come in time. The future of both teams is Potts' and Pant's.

England v India, fifth Test, day one: as it happened

07:26 PM

Paul Collingwood speaks

When you have a bit of moisture in the pitch early on, you have a chance to take early wickets, which is what we did.

We're going against the grain of much of the cricket's been played over the last 100 years, but Pant came out and played a blinder.

You've got to give him full credit. We are trying to play as positive as possible, and play entertaining cricket. Ben's not going to take a backwards step.

Paul Collingwood - Gareth Copley/Getty Images 
Paul Collingwood - Gareth Copley/Getty Images

07:19 PM

The scope of Pant's performance was unbelievable

07:08 PM

Now England knows how it feels

07:06 PM

Tomorrow is finely poised

The first three hours were England's, but Pant and Jadeja changed the game with their spell-binding partnership. But by no means does this mean the much-lauded 'Baz ball' of the New Zealand Test has been exposed - England's retort should make entertaining watching.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Rishabh Pant of India salutes the crowd after making 146 runs during day one of Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Rishabh Pant of India salutes the crowd after making 146 runs during day one of Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe

07:01 PM

Over 73: IND 338-7 (Shami 0 Jadeja 83)

This could be the day's last over, and Stokes switches up the field again. Potts steps up to bowl. Jadeja responds quickly, striking out to the boundary through wide long-on. As Shami and Jadeja make their runs, wild fielding sends the return flying out to the boundary for five. Shami has three balls to face to make tomorrow's morning session. Can he do it?

With one final block, he can, and that's stumps.

06:57 PM

Over 72: IND 329-7 (Shami 0 Jadeja 74)

Shami and Jadeja go through the same motions that have seen them seeing off these past few overs sedately. Jadeja gets a run collecting Stokes' full-length delivery and pushing out to long-on.

06:53 PM

The taking of Thakur

06:52 PM

Over 71: IND 328-7 (Shami 0 Jadeja 73)

Jadeja's bat gets purchase on Potts' first delivery, though, the ball just skittering out to fine leg for a couple. He then gets a single from a light hit out to cover, as we edge closer to stumps.

06:47 PM

Over 70: IND 325-7 (Shami 0 Jadeja 70)

Jadeja and Shami start working on the stalemate, determined to see out stumps at 7pm this evening. Jadeja picks up a run from sending the ball out to cover, but the sweepers make light work of it. India's earlier aggression feels a world away.

On the over's final ball, could it be... another wicket? DRS comes in to review, as Stokes claims that he heard something off Shami's bat. Billings is in full agreement. But Ultra Edge shows not one blip of contact, so the over ends anti-climatically.

06:41 PM

Over 69: IND 324-7 (Shami 0 Jadeja 69)

Stokes spreads out the field as Potts comes in to bowl. Pushing Shami onto the defensive, Jadeja takes the over's only single.

06:35 PM

Over 68: WICKET! 323-7 (Thakur 1 Jadeja 68)

Stokes bowls his ninth no-ball, then his tenth, but the extra-long over means that Stokes has more time to take the wicket of the latest man on the field, Thakur!

Billings falls forward to scoop up Thakur's unexpected edge off Stoke's eighth delivery of the over, and he's off.

Thakur b Stokes c Billings 1

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: England captain Ben Stokes appeals during day one of Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England.  - Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: England captain Ben Stokes appeals during day one of Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England. - Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe

06:28 PM

Over 67: IND 321-6 (Thakur 1 Jadeja 68)

Other than that... a quiet over, really. Thakur gets his first run of the day with a drive into the covers which is dealt with quickly.

06:25 PM

Wicket!

Pant strikes a barnstorming back down the track, which strikes the boundary dead-on for six. But finally, finally, England have their wicket.

Pant edges Root's delivery to slip for an easy catch by Crawley. Pant is denied 150, but he has led an immense comeback today.

Pant b Root c Crawley 146

FOW: 320-6

06:22 PM

Over 66: IND 314-5 (Pant 140 Jadeja 68)

There's a pause early in the over as Pant doubles over, physios coming onto the pitch. This time, it's an index finger issue, but after a quick break for treatment, he smiles and play can resume. He gets a single off a strike through backwards square, and Jadeja gets a single off Stokes too. Stokes bowls another no-ball, which is starting to prove a little problematic.

06:16 PM

Over 65: IND 310-5 (Pant 138 Jadeja 67)

Root's delivery to Jadeja is whacked through deep cover for two, and then he picks up a four with an open-face strike through backward point. The solidity of this partnership is compelling to watch.

06:12 PM

Over 64: IND 304-5 (Pant 138 Jadeja 61)

England are starting to look quite threadbare. Stokes' first delivery is pulled through square leg for four by Jadeja, taking the partnership to 200. He leaves a wide delivery from the England captain with a neat lean, and the partnership defends well, before Jadeja picks up the over's final run.

06:08 PM

Over 63: IND 299-5 (Pant 138 Jadeja 56)

Here comes Root, providing offspin for the first time in today's match. Pant opens the over's scoring with a single struck to mid-off that is fielded back neatly. Jadeja gets a single too, then Pant strikes high, powerfully through cover for his 16th four of the day. Pant follows up by flicking the next delivery behind for another bouncing four.

06:04 PM

Over 62: IND 289-5 (Pant 129 Jadeja 55)

Stokes comes back in, denying Pant and Jadeja until two no-balls are given to Jadeja. Pant gets a single off a pull popping out at square leg. A comparatively steady over.

05:59 PM

Over 61: IND 286-5 (Pant 128 Jadeja 54)

Leach again, and Jadeja and Pant both take a single before Pant smashes the ball on one knee straight out to the boundary at square leg. He follows this casual brilliance with his second six of the day, hard and high down the track. Then: avoidable chaos from England. Wacky fielding sends a return wide which Billings can't catch, and out to the boundary.

Pant ends the over with another six, hit one-handed. Phew.

05:56 PM

Over 60: IND 264-5 (Pant 107 Jadeja 53)

Stokes comes in to bowl, sending a no-ball to Jadeja on the opening delivery. Moving with less fluidity, he bowls another, then Billings' too-short reach means another left ball skims out to the boundary and is given as four leg-byes. An unsatisfying over.

05:50 PM

Over 59: IND 258-5 (Pant 107 Jadeja 53)

Pant sneaks a strike over the boundary through backward square, outpacing fielders who may have thought he was only destined for a couple. Pant may have edged a delivery which Billings doesn't catch - which could have been a howler if definitive. Jadeja takes another single from Leach.

05:44 PM

What a way to seal a ton

05:42 PM

Over 58: IND 251-5 (Pant 102 Jadeja 51)

Pant gets his hundred in stunning style: after striking out to the boundary, Leach picks it up and fields quickly. Pant, on the run, slides back as the ball makes for the bale - he dives to safety! Two runs please, and Edgbaston erupts. He takes off his helmet and soaks up the applause.

Jadeja gets a boundary when his fast-moving strike of the cherry outpaces Pope near gully. He gets a half-century to celebrate too, before drinks.

05:36 PM

Over 57: IND 241-5 (Pant 98 Jadeja 45)

Pant gets into the nineties with a flyer from Leach's delivery, giving the ball lots of air as it flies over the boundary. He takes the next delivery much the same way, sending the strike so high up he tips over and falls to the ground. Looking like an upturned beetle doesn't stand in the way of Pant getting another four.

Jadeja gets a single but Pant faces the last ball. Can he do it? In a word, no. He gets one off a lovely sweep which is easily fielded.

Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 India's Rishabh Pant hits four runs off the bowling of England's Jack Leach - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 India's Rishabh Pant hits four runs off the bowling of England's Jack Leach - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

05:32 PM

Over 56: IND 230-5 (Pant 88 Jadeja 44)

Chaos in the cordon as the Dukes swings past the stumps, just by Billing's fingertips, to crack Root on the shinbone. Jadeja had left the ball, which could have skipped out for four leg-byes, if not for the shinbone. Broad grins unsupportively.

Jadeja gets his four leg-byes, missing as the looping shot skips out past the cordon.

05:28 PM

Over 55: IND 226-5 (Pant 88 Jadeja 44)

Leach comes in for some spin, and Pant can only take a single from two balls faced. Jadeja, forced defensively again, gets nothing from the over.

05:24 PM

Over 54: IND 224-5 (Pant 87 Jadeja 44)

Broad has had a subdued day. He comes back in for the first time after tea. Pope at backward point leaps for Jadeja's intended boundary steer, which attempts to slow down India's run-grab.

05:20 PM

Over 53: 223-5 (Pant 86 Jadeja 43)

Potts delivers to Jadeja who takes the invitation to hit half-volley past a non-existent third man dropping down to the boundary. The flow of this partnership, and the frequency with which they play boundaries of late, is putting England on the backfoot - hard to imagine earlier in the day, with fine form and spectators still basking in the warmth of the 3-0 victory over New Zealand. Jadeja gets two at long-leg to round off the over.

05:14 PM

Over 52: IND 217-5 (Pant 86 Jadeja 37)

A brilliant opening shot from Pant, cracked straight past Anderson high to the boundary for four. Jadeja contorts to punch away to leg-side, then picks up a leg-bye on the next delivery.

05:10 PM

Over 51: IND 211-5 (Pant 81 Jadeja 37)

Then Pant comes in, and turns things on their head. Potts overpitches, and Pant can smack the ball wide of mid-on for a quartet. Pant takes an additional run from a shorter delivery, then Jadeja gets four leg-byes as the ball goes spinning past him out to the boundary.

05:05 PM

Over 50: IND 202-5 (Pant 76 Jadeja 37)

After that gripping, joyful over, a perhaps-necessary lull. Jadeja can't get anything, stolidly defending in Anderson's first maiden since tea.

05:01 PM

Over 49: IND 202-5 (Pant 76 Jadeja 37)

Jadeja can take a single off Potts, but he's forced to defend more than he might like, as England fight to disrupt his rhythm. But Pant is a man on a mission, and pulling Potts' delivery out to the left of fine leg, his strike spins out to the boundary. He then does the same thing, almost identically, all over again with the final delivery.

Quite marvellous, really. Pant and Jadeja reach their hundred partnership

India's Rishabh Pant plays shot during play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP
India's Rishabh Pant plays shot during play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP

04:57 PM

Over 48: IND 193-5 (Pant 68 Jadeja 36)

Pant sends a lovely reverse scoop winging behind for an airy couple. He tries to sweep wildly at the next delivery, but just misses, the ball bouncing over him, and the stumps.

Pant's leg still looks to be troubling him a little, not moving well.

04:54 PM

Over 47: IND 191-5 (Pant 66 Jadeja 36)

Pant toys with Potts, punching his delivery through unguarded backward point for the boundary. He then hooks his bat high-up to smack the ball out to the field's edge, where the ball is scooped up for a single. Pant appears to feel a twinge in his hamstring, which could be cramp.

04:49 PM

Over 46: IND 186-5 (Pant 61 Jadeja 36)

As if inspired by his partner, Jadeja smacks an immaculate cover drive out to the boundary to continue India's feisty attack. Anderson, looking vexed, sends in a lovely lengthy delivery with Jadeja decides to leave, going on leaving to see out the over.

04:44 PM

Over 45: IND 182-5 (Pant 61 Jadeja 32)

Potts opens up the evening session, with a gippy run-out: he tries again. The first attempt speeds nicely past a watchful, beaten Pant. Pant drives all the way to the boundary on the next delivery, and then he plays another out to the boundary after Potts delivers a little too short.

04:39 PM

The teams spill out onto the field

Evening session upcoming.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: England take to the field after teaduring day one of Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: England take to the field after teaduring day one of Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe

04:36 PM

Look at that sky!

A lot of crossed fingers at Edgbaston, I'll bet.

04:30 PM

Tea time

Pant and Jadeja have steadied the ship after a post-rain blitz in the early afternoon by England which would have concerned the visitors. Stokes was looking for Pant's scalp before tea, but life isn't always so simple: India have the edge on momentum heading into the day's final session.

England's captain Ben Stokes, second right, and teammates leave the field for tea during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022 - Rui Vieira/AP
England's captain Ben Stokes, second right, and teammates leave the field for tea during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022 - Rui Vieira/AP

04:24 PM

A performance loaded with intention from the visiting batsman

04:18 PM

Over 44: IND 174-5 (Pant 53 Jadeja 32)

Stoke forces a clever bending leave from Jadeja as the ball goes skimming glove-wards, in what might be the final over before tea time. Brooks fields for the stumps from mid-on but they tumble a moment too late. Stokes delivers a no-ball to Jadeja, before he defends all the way into tea.

04:13 PM

Over 43: IND 172-5 (Pant 53 Jadeja 32)

Jadeja sends an early strike through long-on which Crawley dives for without yield. Pant gets his half century, his tenth in Test match cricket, after smacking the delivery to deep square leg.

India's Rishabh Pant raises his bat to celebrate scoring fifty runs during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022 - Rue Vieira/AP
India's Rishabh Pant raises his bat to celebrate scoring fifty runs during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022 - Rue Vieira/AP

04:09 PM

Pant's scintillating six

04:09 PM

Over 42: IND 167-5 (Pant 49 Jadeja 31)

Stokes steps up again, and Jadeja opens the points with a single nicked from a press out to point which is quickly fielded. Pant's next strike is more artful, chipped high-ish but dangerous out for three. Jadeja pulls out to fine leg for another single to round out the over.

04:04 PM

Over 41: IND 161-5 (Pant 46 Jadeja 29)

Another slip from an England fielder, this time Bairstow tumbles, but the consequences are scant. Jadeja can only get a single off Leach's deliveries.

England fielder Jonny Bairstow takes a tumble whilst making a stop in the slips as Ollie Pope looks on during day one of the 5th Test match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe
England fielder Jonny Bairstow takes a tumble whilst making a stop in the slips as Ollie Pope looks on during day one of the 5th Test match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe

04:01 PM

Over 40: IND 160-5 (Pant 46 Jadeja 28)

Stokes on to bowl now, and Jadeja gets a single from his first delivery with a press out to mid wicket. Pant tries to sweep but like a Wil E. Coyote cartoon, the ball stays almost on place on the ground as his bat swings wildly. The five slips, like a Greek chorus, cry out with despair as Pant fails to make purchase on a gettable catch.

Pant gets a couple off a strike out to unmanned cover point, then a quartet from a stronger strike.

03:56 PM

Over 39: IND 152-5 (Pant 40 Jadeja 27)

Leach to face down Pant again, who ran riot during the last attempt. Potts stops Pant's low-slung weighty hit from troubling the boundary, but he can claim two runs from the effort. Leach keeps Jadeja on the defensive, and he can only make a single from the over.

03:52 PM

Over 38: IND 150-5 (Pant 39 Jadeja 26)

Jadeja gets a double out of Broad, hitting through deep square, and suddenly, India are looking much more comfortable than earlier in the afternoon.

03:48 PM

Over 37: IND 148-5 (Pant 39 Jadeja 24)

In comes Leach as Stokes looks for spin to unsettle the fluid lefthanded partnership. Pant knocks back the first delivery in a gentle defence, before pulling out a flying punched shot full of movement through long-off and out to the boundary. And then, another, pacey and brave struck out to square leg for another quartet.

But Pant isn't finished: delivering the first six of the match, looping way beyond to bring the partnership to 50 runs.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: India batsman Rishabh Pant in batting action during day one of the 5th Test match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England. - Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 01: India batsman Rishabh Pant in batting action during day one of the 5th Test match between England and India at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England. - Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe

03:42 PM

Over 36: IND 134-5 (Pant 25 Jadeja 24)

Jadeja plays a lovely shot through the cover that no Englishman can catch up with as it skims the boundary, before leaving most of the remainder.

03:38 PM

Over 35: IND 130-5 (Pant 25 Jadeja 20)

India are bubbling up, and Jadeja opens the over with another on-drive boundary. He nabs a single, then Pant aims for a boundary which is only just fielded back for three by Potts.

Time for a new ball four deliveries in, as the aged Dukes gets wedged in the umpire's sizing ring. With the new ball, Anderson sees Pant and Jadeja profit no further from the over.

03:31 PM

Over 34: IND 121-5 (Pant 22 Jadeja 14)

Jadeja sends a pearl of an on-drive out to the boundary, taking on Broad's delivery with minimal, jabbing, precise effort. He has another clean shot from mid wicket, which yields three as the fielders scurry about to return the cherry. Pant joins in the boundary-grabbing, knocking the shot through the covers, past a tumbling fielder.

03:25 PM

Over 33: IND 110-5 (Pant 18 Jadeja 7)

A big shout from Anderson as Jadeja curls up to defend a ball pitching at outside leg, but no review means the original not out decision stands. Jadeja goes on to sneak a single before drinks.

Pant looks in a spot of bother himself, as the physio comes out to stretch him out.

03:17 PM

Over 32: IND 109-5 (Pant 18 Jadeja 6)

Pant gets a single through cover with a soft-handed chip. Broad loops a lengthy delivery at Jadeja, which whips around him and forces a miss.

Joe Root has a catch! Or does he? A jaffa from Broad could have dispatched Jadeja, but Root doesn't look convinced. The decision hangs with third umpire, and on the replay of the side angle, it looks like the ball does find grass-tip before Root's fingers. Billings might wish he went for the ball, just ahead of Root, a little sooner. Broad looks lightly cheesed off.

On the last ball Jadeja faces, he clips it to force Stokes to field. He takes a tumble misfielding, and clutches at his lower back, not yet on his feet. The physios rush on to look over the England captain.

03:11 PM

Over 31: IND 107-5 (Pant 17 Jadeja 5)

As the clouds draw in again, ominously, Leach bowls a maiden.

Cricket - Fifth Test - England v India - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Cricket - Fifth Test - England v India - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

03:05 PM

Over 30: IND 107-5 (Pant 17 Jadeja 5)

Broad is back in town to deal with the lefthanders, flying in on the length to muzzle Pant and Jadeja and push them onto the defensive. Pant sends an edged shot to fine leg for a single and Jadeja ends the over with a peppy clip to mid wicket.

03:03 PM

A closer look at a fabulous catch

03:01 PM

Over 29: IND 105-5 (Pant 16 Jadeja 4)

Pant sends the ball through fielding hands to claim the over's opening double, then gets a single of Leach's shorter delivery. Jadeja starts on the defensive, before hitting a sparkling aerial way out for late-dropping four.

02:57 PM

Over 28: IND 98-5 (Pant 13 Jadeja 0)

A great catch from Billings, after a well-placed short ball in from Anderson. Jadeja comes on for Iyer.

Stokes summons Leach to bowl the next over, and Pope puts on the helment behind Pant.

02:54 PM

Wicket!

Stinger from Pant, this time driving through mid off, which leaves Anderson assessing through gritted teeth. The ball jumps up at the boundary, and this partnership is on the attack.

But there's a wicket! Billings makes a sensational one-handed grab after Iyer edges the cherry back to the diving wicketkeeper.

Iyer c Billings b Anderson 15 

FOW 98-5

02:49 PM

Over 27: IND 93-4 (Pant 8 Iyer 15)

Kohli was Potts' 12th top order batsman of a very special summer. He takes his time wheeling towards Pant, swinging in for Pant to push cleanly through mid wicket. It nearly kisses the boundary, but captain Stokes runs out to keep the haul to 3 runs.

Iyer takes an offside boundary, having come flying out of the starting gates since his invitation onto the pitch at Edgbaston.

02:45 PM

What a scalp for Potts

02:44 PM

Over 26: IND 86-4 (Pant 5 Iyer 11)

Pant gets double, then a leg-bye off his pad, coming forward to Anderson with confidence. Iyer can claim a single with a shot through deep square leg, and Pant adds another to the tally to try and re-establish solidity.

02:40 PM

Over 25: IND 81-4 (Pant 2 Iyer 10)

Iyer comes in, and opens nicely with a double, then a striding four whacked out to the boundary off a fuller delivery from Potts. He sprints into double figures with a final full-throated swing from Pott's inswinging delivery

02:36 PM

Wicket!

Kohli goes, at the hands of starboy Potts!

The delivery flies in wide at the crease, the ball sticks upright as Kohli waits - too long - for action. The bale goes flying as he strikes inside-edge, and that is tremendous from Potts.

Kohli b Potts 11

Cricket - Fifth Test - England v India - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 England's Matthew Potts celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Hanuma Vihari - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Cricket - Fifth Test - England v India - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 England's Matthew Potts celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Hanuma Vihari - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

02:34 PM

Over 24: IND 71-3 (Pant 2 Kohli 11)

Anderson delivers a shorter length to Pant, who chips the ball inside-edge for a single. Through point, Kohli gets one too, briefly interrupting an otherwise defensive set up.

02:30 PM

Here's Vihari's dismissal

02:29 PM

Over 23: IND 69-3 (Pant 1 Kholi 10)

Vihari off, Pant on, to face Potts' fresh and flavoursome deliveries. He takes a single after opening defensively, then Kohli faces Potts down to chip through fine leg and send the ball out to the boundary.

02:27 PM

Ben Bloom on Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler has ruled out an imminent return to England’s Test side and insisted he is currently only focused on his white-ball career.

Former Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara last week called for Buttler to return as a Test opening batsman, with Telegraph Sport’s Michael Vaughan adding his support to the idea.

“What is the most aggressive, radical thing that we could think of?” said Vaughan. “Let’s go. Jos opening in Test cricket is quite radical. Just go for it.”

Buttler was dropped from England’s Test team after the Ashes and has not played a first-class game since January. Having this week been named Eoin Morgan’s successor as England’s white-ball captain, he dismissed suggestions that he is planning a Test return.

“I thought someone had written the wrong story, to be honest” he told BBC Test Match Special. “I don’t think there is much merit in that. “It was Kumar [Sangakkara], wasn’t it? Maybe he was just promoting Rajasthan Royals [the IPL team that Sangakkara coaches] openers!

“I’ve just been enjoying watching the Test side recently. There is no red ball in my bag at the moment.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, Buttler added: “I wasn’t worth my place in the Test side and I got left out on merit. I’ve got a great challenge with the white-ball team as captain and that’s where all my energy is at the moment.”

Buttler will lead England for the first time as permanent white-ball captain in three T20s and three ODIs against India later this month

Jos Buttler - Ian Kington/AFP
Jos Buttler - Ian Kington/AFP

02:24 PM

Wicket!

Potts claims his first scalp of the Test with a nipping ball that forces Vihari lbw and off the pitch! DRS gives it a cursory review, and Vihari is the third Indian batter of the day to exit the pitch.

Vihari lbw b Potts 20

FOW 64-3

02:23 PM

Over 22: IND 62-2 (Vihari 18 Kohli 6)

Vihari takes a single off Anderson before Anderson can face Kohli, fresh and dangerous after the break. Anderson delivers an inswinger which Kohli can nick for his own single. Vihari smacks the ball back which bypasses the slips and sends them scrambling to keep it out of danger.

02:18 PM

Over 21: IND 57-2 (Vihari 14 Kohli 5)

Restarting on the second ball of the 21st over, Kohli takes four from Pott's first delivery after the rain at fine leg. Five slips remain in place.

02:13 PM

Dry skies overhead

Ahead of the restart at 2.15pm. There's a chance of rain at 5pm, but the fluffy white clouds moving across the blue sky look unthreatening, for now. Hopefully, play will be able to continue uninterrupted for the remainder of the afternoon. If necessary to complete the day's 84 overs, there'll be out there for an extra 30 minutes, until 7pm this evening, to make up for the stop.

An Indian supporter takes a selfie with her child after rain stopped play during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022 - Rui Vieira/AP
An Indian supporter takes a selfie with her child after rain stopped play during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022 - Rui Vieira/AP

01:55 PM

The restart is on

Early reports say we'll transition from weather watch to a real life cricket match at 2.15pm.

01:49 PM

The second inspection is taking place

Maddeningly there was a light shower just a few minutes ago, which may impact their findings.

Cricket - Fifth Test - England v India - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 General view of fans in the stand during a rain delay - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Cricket - Fifth Test - England v India - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - July 1, 2022 General view of fans in the stand during a rain delay - Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

01:36 PM

In white-ball news

England announced their squad for the ODI match against India later this month, and among the notable inclusions is one hotly-anticipated return.

01:21 PM

The pitch is being inspected

Although the rain has stopped, there is general unhappiness about the standing water on the pitch. They'll be out again at 1.45pm for another inspection, and with that, hopefully an idea of when play can restart.

Groundstaff work on the covers as rain stops play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP
Groundstaff work on the covers as rain stops play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP
Groundstaff work on the covers as rain stops play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP
Groundstaff work on the covers as rain stops play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP
Fans take shelter during a rain break during day one of the fourth LV= Insurance Test Series match at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. Picture date: Friday July 1, 2022.  - Mike Egerton/PA
Fans take shelter during a rain break during day one of the fourth LV= Insurance Test Series match at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. Picture date: Friday July 1, 2022. - Mike Egerton/PA

12:56 PM

Another inspection

... of the pitch will take place at 1.15pm, as lunch comes to a close. It's looking pretty miserable, with dark clouds hanging overhead.

12:27 PM

Lunchtime listening

While we wait out the rain over lunch, have you listened to our newly launched Vaughany & Tuffers Cricket Club podcast?

With cricket legends Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell, as well as our very own Ben Wright, it is a celebration of cricket in all its glory and absurdity. New episodes will be available every Wednesday via Apple PodcastsSpotify or your favourite podcast app.

You can also sign up to our newsletter and send us your opinions and stories to cricketclub@telegraph.co.uk. Come join the club.

12:16 PM

Lunch taken: IND 53-2

Early lunch has been taken, aided by the inclement weather.

12:14 PM

An update on the delay

Rain could be hanging around, as the groundmen unveil both the main hover cover and sheets either side. We could have an early lunch, but no news from Edgbaston yet.

England's James Anderson, third right, celebrates with teammates the dismissal of India's Cheteshwar Pujara, left, during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022. - Rui Vieira /AP
England's James Anderson, third right, celebrates with teammates the dismissal of India's Cheteshwar Pujara, left, during the first day of the fifth cricket test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England, Friday, July 1, 2022. - Rui Vieira /AP
England's Zak Crawley (L) is congratulated by England's Joe Root (R) after taking a catch to dismiss India's Cheteshwar Pujara during play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP
England's Zak Crawley (L) is congratulated by England's Joe Root (R) after taking a catch to dismiss India's Cheteshwar Pujara during play on Day 1 of the fifth cricket Test match between England and India at Edgbaston, Birmingham in central England on July 1, 2022. - Friday's match should have been played in Manchester last September but, hours before it was due to start, it was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns in the India camp. India take a 2-1 lead into this, the final match in the five-match series - Geoff Caddick/AFP

12:10 PM

The dispatching of Pujara

12:09 PM

Rain stops play

A sparky morning for England interrupted by the inevitable hallmark of an English summer.

12:07 PM

Over 20: IND 53-2 (Vihari 14 Kohli 1)

Anderson has taken Kohli seven times, and is hungering for an eighth in what could be the final time the two players meet. Kohli pushes Anderson's slightly wide delivery offside for his first run in an otherwise scant but lively over.

12:04 PM

Over 19: IND 52-2 (Vihari 14 Kohli 0)

Here comes Kohli, ready to face old adversary Anderson. Potts bowls the over, however, with Vihari facing the delivery and he smacks a four through square leg which Leach reaches, but because of his entanglement with the boundary, can't keep out. He stops the next one, however, with Vihari only taking a double.

11:58 AM

Over 18: 46-2 (Vihari 8 Pujara 13)

A quick run from Vihari after the partners sprints to get back safely before Leach sends the ball back from square leg. But his throw is weak, from the left-hand.

But there's a WICKET and Pujara is finally gone! The cordon redeems itself, Crawley taking a clean catch off Pujara's edged strike.

Pujara b Anderson c Crawley

11:53 AM

Over 17: IND 45-1 (Vihari 7 Pujara 13)

A zippy delivery from Potts veers past Vihari's demonstrative leave to Billings who catches it with a wince, and it's a no ball. Kevin Pietersen, extolling the virtues of Pott's bowling, moves onto his hairstyle - KP duly impressed by what he deems a 'high skin fade'.

Matthew Potts of England runs up to bowl during Day One of the Fifth Lv= Insurance Test Match at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Alex Davidson/Getty Images Europe
Matthew Potts of England runs up to bowl during Day One of the Fifth Lv= Insurance Test Match at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England - Alex Davidson/Getty Images Europe

Unlucky dropped catch! Vihari sends the delivery off the edge out to the cordon, all on springy knees. The ball smacks Crawley's palm, but he can't keep hold of it.

11:49 AM

Over 16: IND 43-1 (Vihari 6 Pujara 13)

Anderson switches ends with Broad, and tests Pujara with consecutive back of the length deliveries which keep him on the defensive. Maiden over from the English bowler.

11:44 AM

Over 15: IND 43-1 (Vihari 6 Pujara 13)

Pujara stays on, no lbw.

Vihari prods the ball behind and in the cordon, Root stutters, the ball springing from his grasp. Potts, injecting fresh energy into the bowling side, keeps India from gaining anything from the over.

11:41 AM

Over 14: IND 43-1 (Vihari 6 Pujara 13)

Broad steps up for the over and Vihari takes the first single after drinks from a tight knock leg-side. Pujara winds up, hitting high swinging through extra cover, and the shot skims out to the boundary.

But is there a wicket? Pujara immediately requests DRS after being caught behind. Ultra edge shows no contact off Pujara's bat, only skimming his trousers. Erasmus checks for lbw.

11:34 AM

Drinks

During our quick break, why not read Ben Rumsby and Nick Hoult's exclusive report:  Senior ECB official suspended for 'racial slur' about former England player Devon Malcolm

11:31 AM

Over 13: 38-1 (Vihari 5 Pujara 9)

Pujara strikes cleanly through mid-on for a single off Pott's delivery, and Vihari gets a leg-bye, then it's time for drinks, England much the happier side.

11:27 AM

Over 12: IND 36-1 (Vihari 5 Pujara 8)

Vihari gets a single, but Pujara spends too long watching the movement off the strike rather than eyeballing his partner. He avoids being run out by a whisker, sliding across the green as Anderson goes for the bale. Had Anderson have struck it, Pujara would have walked. Catching his breath, he sneaks a single through square leg.

Cheteshwar Pujara of India dives to make his ground during Day One of the Fifth Lv= Insurance Test Match at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England. - Alex Davidson/Getty Images Europe
Cheteshwar Pujara of India dives to make his ground during Day One of the Fifth Lv= Insurance Test Match at Edgbaston on July 01, 2022 in Birmingham, England. - Alex Davidson/Getty Images Europe

11:23 AM

A look at that first wicket

11:22 AM

Over 11: IND 34-1 (Vihari 4 Pujara 7)

Here comes Potts, fresh off his eye-catching debut against New Zealand, arms swinging as he readies his joints. Five slips in the set-up now. Vihari punches a shot out to restart India's runs and claim a double, then gets a leg bye, but Pujara can't follow up with additions to the tally as Lees fields his attempt at midwicket.

11:17 AM

Over 10: IND 31-1 (Vihari 2 Pujara 7)

Broad sends Pujara on the defensive, knocking a full delivery straight and neat. Pujara then smartly leaves a tight delivery from Broad to float past him, which looked risky.

India take nothing from the over.

11:13 AM

An important dismissal

11:12 AM

Over 9: IND 31-1 (Vihari 2 Pujara 7)

Pujara contorts himself to take a single off Anderson, who looks ferocious, pushing Vihari to swerve and leave punchy deliveries.

11:08 AM

Over 8: IND 30-1 (Vihari 2 Pujara 6)

A happy start for England, then, with Gill falling for a risky defence that Crawley barely broke a sweat for. Pujara can only claim a single, with both batters leaving more cautiously as if haunted by the previous over.

11:04 AM

Over 7: IND 29-1 (Vihari 2 Pujara 5)

After the over's first wicket, England thinks they have another, claiming lbw on Vihari's opener, but this is discounted quickly.

Vihari gets his first double from a fuller delivery from Anderson.

11:00 AM

WICKET!

Gill plays a ball he would have done well to leave and it glances cleanly off outside edge to the slips where Crawley is the man with the composed catch.

Shubman Gill b Anderson c Crawley

FOW 26-1

10:57 AM

Over 6: IND 26-0 (Gill 17 Pujara 4)

Broad delivers a short ball which Gill clouts with a pleasing smack out for a square leg four, then another soft-hander from Gill skitters out to the boundary off a similarly short-of-length delivery.

10:53 AM

Over 5: IND 18-0 (Gill 9 Pujara 4)

Gill takes four off the first, with an open-faced strike through mid-off, but Anderson forces defence for the next few, yielding little. Anderson's final wobble-seam bowl snakes just past Pujara and he looks disappointed to have missed out on more than a dot ball.

10:48 AM

Over 4: IND 13-0 (Gill 4 Pujara 4)

Broad, with his bandana on, is back for the fourth over.

Pujara on the third ball pushes his bat straight down the line, getting a boundary with the full face of the bat.

10:44 AM

Over 3: IND 7-0 (Gill 4 Pujara 0)

Anderson back on the bowl.  England haven't been straight enough yet. The opening salvos have been wide in the main.

On the second ball,  Gill tries to withdraw the bat with soft hands, and clips the ball into the turf, bouncing inches before it can be caught.

On the fifth ball, Billings gives chase for the sweep behind.

10:40 AM

OVER 2: IND 5-0  (Gill 4 Pujara 0)

Stuart Broad for the second over at the other end.

Pujara sweeps away the final ball. No drama yet here at Edgbaston.

10:35 AM

OVER 1: IND 4-0 (Gill 4 Pujara 0)

James Anderson back in the team after his injury. He begins the bowling. Shubman Gill faces him, joined by Cheteshwar Pujara.

He was little wide in the first four deliveries, the fifth and sixth were on.

A four by Gill to end the over and open his account.

10:28 AM

England win the toss and will bowl first

No hanging around here at Edgbaston with the earlier start time of 10:30.

The national anthems are done and India's openers are coming out. Here we go....

10:15 AM

Longest-running Test series in history resumes

Good morning and welcome to Telegraph Sport's coverage of England's rescheduled Test match against India at Edgbaston, concluding what has become the longest-running Test series in history.

England have made two changes, with Sam Billings in for the unwell Ben Foakes and James Anderson back to lead the bowling attack.

Jamie Overton has been dropped for Anderson, who is fit again after an ankle injury. Overton made 97 on debut and took two wickets, but has been unable to displace the first-choice trio comprising Anderson, Stuart Broad and Matthew Potts.

Captain Ben Stokes said the Surrey seamer's unexpected batting efforts were not enough to win him another chance this week, but has put himself in a strong position.

"Jamie got his opportunity to show what you can do in a cricket field and he gave the best account possible of himself," said Stokes.

"He's obviously someone that we see has a bright and long future for him going forward.

"It obviously must be very disappointing for him, but he can walk away knowing that he's done everything that he possibly could have done last week to really put his name forward to have a look a good career for England. That's how sport at the top level can work sometimes."

The Test series will conclude over the next five days almost a year after it started after a Covid outbreak in the India camp last September, leaving England trailing 2-1.

The rearranged Test, which was cancelled just hours before play was due to begin at Old Trafford is being played at a different ground, with different captains and coaches and even a different start time.

England had the option to hand the gloves to the in-form Jonny Bairstow and give Yorkshire's Harry Brook a first cap in the middle order, but Stokes was unwilling to compromise a player who produced a career-best series against New Zealand.

"Jonny is in the form of his life at the moment. He's our best middle-order batter at the moment," he said.

"We just want Jonny to concentrate on batting because however he's thinking is working."

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