India's Probable Playing XI: As the Indian cricket team is gearing up for the much-anticipated four-match Test series against England to be played at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, kick-starting from Feb 5. India team head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday address Team India as the Virat Kohli-led team came out for their first nets session at Chepauk. Although the team management is yet to finalize the playing XI, take a look at India's predicted XI for the opening Test against Joe Root-led English side.
With regular skipper Virat Kohli back in the side, set to take captaincy duties for the Chennai Test after having missed the last three Tests against Australia Down Under. Indian speedsters Jasprit Bumrah and veteran Ishant Sharma are also expected to return to the XI after having recovered from injuries. India could go with three spinners in the opening Test.
After a successful tour of Australia, the openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are set to hold onto their spots in the playing XI, and undoubtedly the duo will open at Chennai. There is going to be no change at the No. 3 spot as India's new-wall Cheheshwar Pujara made his after a hard-fought battle against Aussie pacers.
With regular skipper Kohli back in the side after the completion of his parental leave, he would automatically into his favored No. 4 position. Then, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane at No. 5, Pant will most probably bat at No. 6 followed by a couple of bowling all-rounders like R Ashwin/Washington Sundar/Axar Patel.
Notably, India would be playing in their home conditions, so Kohli and Co would go with an extra spinner apart from Ravichandran Ashwin. Kuldeep Yadav might edge ahead of Axar Patel in the XI and will play a crucial role in Jadeja's absence. The two pacers would be the premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah alongside the veteran Ishant Sharma.
India’s Playing XI For 1st Test vs England: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajjinkya Rahane (Vice-captain), Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah