(Reuters) – England skipper Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in the fifth and final test against India at The Oval in London on Friday.
England, who won the fourth test in Southampton by 60 runs on Sunday to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, have named an unchanged side in what will be opener Alastair Cook’s final appearance for the hosts.
Cook, England’s all-time leading scorer with 12,254 runs, will retire from international cricket after 161 tests with the former captain bringing the curtain down on his career following a record-extending 159th straight match.
“We’ve played some really good stuff throughout this series, it’s been a great contest from both sides and it would be a fitting way for us to finish what’s been a fabulous career for Alastair,” Root said.
India, meanwhile, handed a test debut to 24-year-old Hanuma Vihari, the middle-order batsman replacing all-rounder Hardik Pandya as one of two changes to the line-up with Ravindra Jadeja coming in for fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
“It is a good wicket but there’s more grass on it than Southampton so I think the first session’s going to be tough,” India skipper Virat Kohli said.
“If we can get a few early wickets again we’ll look to capitalise from there.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien and Toby Davis)