Of course there's much more to this game than the pitch on offer. For starters, it can be the catharsis that Indian cricket so needs after the heartbreak in South Africa. Virat Kohli might no longer be the captain of the side but he's been the face of India's ambitions abroad, not in the least in England. If 2014 was about a tour in progressive decline for India, 2018 was often about crucial moments missed. The side got most things right in 2021, only for the virus to put paid to it all. All they needed was a draw. All they need is a draw.
England couldn't be more delighted about the timing of this. Such was last summer that even Joe Root at his peak wasn't enough to salvage games for them. This is a different year under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, and England are playing a completely different brand of cricket. They have played themselves into a new era inside three Test matches this summer and are looking to push the line for positive play.
But will it be as simple for England against India? If the wait has taught us anything, it's that a lot has changed but a lot also hasn't.
It's been a long wait, but we're finally here for the final Test of the series. The last time whole of India waited so much for a 'conclusion' was when the Telugu feature film Bahubali-2 neared its release date back in 2017.
And just like that film franchise was an epic blockbuster, so were the Tests in this series, blending high-octane drama with sizzling performances.
There were a lot of roller-coaster rides and stunning comebacks, at the end of which, India held the series lead at 2-1. The visitors were buzzing high on confidence and with momentum totally on their side, but a lot has changed in these 12 months for Team India, including their captain and coach.
A lot has changed for England too in the same departments, and so, this final Test match seems like a standalone game despite being the decisive game of a long series.
To grab the series, India must win this test.
With a full squad in the playing 11, experts are opining that India has a great chance to win this test to wrap up the series with an impressive performance.
England: 1 Alex Lees, 2 Zak Crawley, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Ben Stokes (capt.), 7 Sam Billings, 8 Matthew Potts, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson
India: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Cheteshwar Pujara, 3 Hanuma Vihari, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Jasprit Bumrah (capt.)
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