As the cricket calendar turns its pages to March 7, 2024, the picturesque venue of Dharamshala is all set to host the fifth Test. The series is already in the bag for India, who lead 3-1. The final match promises to be a battle of pride for England and an opportunity for India to assert dominance.

The series kicked off with England drawing first blood in Hyderabad. The English team showcased a commendable performance led by Tom Hartley’s spin magic. He claimed seven wickets to hand England a 28-run victory. Ollie Pope’s innings of 196 was a testament to England’s resilience. It marked a challenge to India’s stronghold on home turf.

Yet, India’s response was swift and decisive, with the team showcasing its depth in batting and skill in bowling to bounce back. Yashasvi Jaiswal, with 655 runs, emerged as a beacon for the batting lineup. Dhruv Jurel and the experienced Rohit Sharma also contributed to the team’s success. India’s bowling, spearheaded by the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav, with Ashwin reaching the 500-wicket milestone, became a nightmare for the English batsmen.

Jasprit Bumrah’s return to the playing XI for the Dharamsala Test is poised to strengthen India’s pace attack and swing the match in India’s favor.

England’s series has been a mixed bag. They had flashes of brilliance overshadowed by moments of inconsistency. With Shoaib Bashir’s and Tom Hartley’s contributions, Joe Root and Ben Stokes have been the pillars. Yet, the team has struggled to capitalize on crucial moments, a gap they will try to bridge in the final Test.

The Dharamshala Test is more than just another match. It is a battleground for final honors and a test of strategy and skill under conditions favorable to seam and swing. This setup poses a challenge and potentially levels the playing field, especially for England’s pace attack against India’s formidable top order.

Probable Playing XI

India: Rohit Sharma (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Ravindra Jadeja, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (wk), Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir, Gus Atkinson, James Anderson.

Key Players

Yashasvi Jaiswal became a cornerstone of India’s batting lineup in the ongoing Test series. He amassed 655 runs, including two consecutive double centuries. His exceptional performance equals Virat Kohli’s record for the most runs in a single Test series against England. His dominance with at least one fifty-plus score in every match shows his dominance. His ability to convert starts into significant scores has been pivotal for India.

Joe Root, England’s batting stalwart, is a beacon of consistency and excellence. His journey is adorned with over 11,000 Test runs, highlighting him as one of the generation’s finest batters. Root’s resilience and skill have been displayed throughout his career. He contributed a lot to England’s batting strength. Root also offered a solid foundation for the team in challenging conditions. He scored a century in the last match and will look to carry his form forward into this contest.

Match Prediction

India enters the Dharamsala Test as the favourites, buoyed by their series victory and the return of key players. England enjoys a potential advantage under Dharamshala’s conditions. Yet, India’s adaptability and formidable form across the series position them as likely victors, aiming to conclude the series on a high note.

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