Jasprit Bumrah 1st fast bowler since Kapil Dev to captain India in Tests
- The rescheduled fifth Test will begin on Friday
- The game will take place at Edgbaston, Birmingham
- India lead the five-Test series 2-1
Jasprit Bumrah will captain India in the rescheduled fifth Test, the BCCI confirmed on Thursday. Bumrah will become the first pacer to lead India in the longest format since Kapil Dev, whose last game in charge was an ODI against England in 1987.
Rishabh Pant has been named Bumrah's deputy for the one-off Test, which will be played at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Rohit Sharma, who tested positive for covid-19 during India's practice against Leicestershire, has not returned with a negative test yet.
Bumrah will be India's second captain in the Pataudi Trophy, which the visitors lead 2-1, after Virat Kohli. The latter was the captain in the first four Tests in England last year before a covid outbreak in the touring camp postponed the fifth and the final Test.
Bumrah, who is set to become India's 36th Test captain, has no experience of captaincy at any level.
Rohit was India's best batsman last year in England, scoring 368 runs in four Tests at an average of 52.57. He scored a century and he was just behind England's Joe Root in the runs chart. The then-England captain scored 564 runs in four Tests at an average of 94, including three centuries.
Along with Rohit, Bumrah played a key role in India's success too last year in the English conditions. He picked up 18 wickets and only England's Oile Robinson bagged more scalps than the Indian pacer in those four Tests. Bumrah also bagged a five-wicket haul and a four-for.
Bumrah served as India's vice-captain during their home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year. The fast bowler had said he wouldn't shy away if the opportunity to lead India came his way. The 28-year-old bowler wouldn't have expected the chance to knock his door this soon.
The fast bowler made his Test debut in 2018 and so far has played 29 Tests for Team India. He has picked up an incredible 123 wickets with his best innings figures being 6 for 27. Bumrah also has eight five-wicket hauls to his name.
Ever since Kohli stepped down as Test captain in January this year, India have suffered certain instability with their leadership in recent times. When Kohli's news broke, Rohit and KL Rahul were in line to get the role with the former eventually being named the Test captain. Right now, even Rahul is ruled out due to a groin injury. Along the way, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya have also led in white-ball games, all in the past month.
It has been reported that before reaching England, even Kohli had tested covid positive. Even Ravichandran Ashwin contracted the virus when the squad was leaving from India. But the spinner later joined the Indian camp a few days later in Leicester and even bowled in the second innings of the warm-up game, taking two wickets in his 11 overs.
Even England have a new captain in Ben Stokes and the hosts are coming into the fifth Test after a tremendous 3-0 whitewash win against New Zealand.
India's Probable XI for 5th Test: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwara Pujara, Virat Kohli, Hanuma Vihari/Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah (c), Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
England XI for 5th Test: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Sam Billings (wk), Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson.