Cheteshwar Pujara on Friday was promoted to the opening slot as India locked horns with England in the fifth Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Jasprit Bumrah was made the stand-in captain after Rohit Sharma tested positive for COVID-19. 

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England skipper Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bowl. 

Pujara came out to bat with Shubman Gill. The 35-year-old last opened during India’s two-match Test series against New Zealand last year. He, in the second innings, scored 47 runs in 97 balls with the help of six boundaries and one maximum. 

Cheteshwar Pujara has batted at No 3 for most of his 12-year test career. In the second Test vs New Zealand in Mumbai, he was promoted after Shubman Gill didn’t take the field due to an elbow injury that he picked up while fielding. 

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Pujara’s record opening:

Batting at the top, Cheteshwar Pujara, in seven innings, has scored 395 runs at an average of 98.75. He has two half-centuries in the position and one unbeaten 41 against England (2012). 

Here are his scores:

41* vs England in 2012

28 vs Australia in 2013

52 vs Australia in 2013

82* vs Australia in 2013

145* vs Sri Lanka in 2015

0 vs Sri Lanka in 2015

47 vs New Zealand in 2021

However, Pujara’s opening vs England on Friday could be a risky move. The 35-year-old does not have a great record against both their new ball bowlers – James Anderson and Stuart Broad. 

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Cheteshwar Pujara in Tests in England:

vs Anderson: 9 dismissals, 14.55 avg.

vs Broad: 4 dismissals, 18.25 avg.

England (Playing XI): Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes(c), Sam Billings(w), Matty Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson

India (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah(c)