England vs. India, 5th Test: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

Tim Collins@@TimDCollinsFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09:  England bowler James Anderson (r) goes on a celebration run with Joe Root (l) and Chris Jordan (c) after India batsman Virat Kohli  is dismissed  during day three of the 4th Investec Test match between England and India at Old Trafford on August 9, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

The fifth and final Test of the summer between England and India begins at the Oval on Friday, with the home side holding a 2-1 advantage over the visitors after consecutive victories in Southampton and Manchester.

 

Venue: The Oval, London

Commences: Friday, Aug. 15

Start time: 11:00 a.m. BST

Live on: Sky Sports (UK), STAR Sports (India), Fox Sports (Australia), SuperSport (South Africa), PTV Sports (Pakistan), Ten Sports (Sri Lanka), Orbit Showtime Network (Middle East).

Weather: While the BBC has reported that parts of the UK are still being affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Bertha, the organisation's forecast indicates that rain may only interrupt play on Sunday, with fine and partly cloudy skies predicted for the other four days of the Test. 

 

Overview

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

After taking a 1-0 series lead with a historic victory in the second Test at Lord's, India's campaign on English shores has disintegrated in recent weeks following a pair of onslaughts from Alastair Cook's seemingly rejuvenated side at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford. 

Indeed, it's difficult to accurately encapsulate the change in fortunes for the two outfits.

Just 24 days ago, MS Dhoni's men looked like an outfit on the rise, claiming their first Test victory away from home in more than three years. As Cook's side capitulated on that final day at Lord's, it concurrently appeared that the entire England regime was ready to implode, starting with the captain. 

Yet the controversy surrounding James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja seems to have galvanised the hosts, while India's obvious objection to the events that have transpired has left an irate sense of distraction around the tourists. 

With Anderson recapturing his finest form, Cook getting back among the runs and Moeen Ali rapidly becoming a frontline spinner, there appears to be an optimism surrounding England that has been missing since the 2013 Ashes contest on home soil. 

It's now India's job to quell the hosts' surging momentum.

Chief among Dhoni's priorities is rekindling the form of his batting line-up, given the feeble collapses that took place in Southampton and Manchester. Of his batsmen, only Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane are averaging in excess of 40, while the team's two trump cards, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, can't find a run between them. 

While it all looks to be clicking for England, India must find a way to post a total in excess of 400 for the first time since the opening innings of the series at Trent Bridge. 

 

Possible Changes

England 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara  is dismissed by Ben Stokes during day one of 2nd Investec Test match between England and India at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 17, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty I
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ben Stokes recaptured some form with the bat with a century in Durham's victory over Nottinghamshire in the Royal London Cup this week, boosting his chances of a recall into the England side.

Dropped after the Lord's Test for a disastrous run of low scores, the 23-year-old could be brought in to replace Chris Woakes for the final encounter of the series at the Oval.

While Woakes hasn't been dismissed in his two innings to date, the all-rounder's bowling has done little to trouble India, claiming just one scalp across two Tests. 

With Stuart Broad nursing a broken nose and Anderson owning a moderate record in south London, the greater threat with the ball offered by Stokes may be needed. 

 

India

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  Ishant Sharma during an India nets session at Ageas Bowl on July 26, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

After missing the last two Tests through injury, Ishant Sharma is closing in on a return, according to ESPN Cricinfo

Since the Lord's Test, Dhoni's team has severely missed its spearhead, struggling to unsettle an England line-up that has slowly found touch as the series has progressed.

If Ishant is recalled, it would be Pankaj Singh to miss out, who, despite some promising spells at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford, ultimately proved ineffective in his two outings.

 

Likely Teams

England

Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

 

India

Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron.

 

Prediction

Losing inside three days last time out was undoubtedly embarrassing for India, but the extra two days the loss has afforded Dhoni's men in their preparations for the Oval could turn out to be a blessing. 

Needing to escape the firing line and England's suddenly rampant momentum, the tourists might have been able to use the added lay off to collect themselves. 

However, that's unlikely to be enough to turn the contest around for India.

As recent history has showed, it's extremely difficult to stop a surging opponent in the Test arena, with condensed schedules and a lack of tour matches making it nigh on impossible to rediscover form once the tour is underway.

With India's batting line-up in disarray, England's new-found strength should see them reach a third consecutive victory and claim the series 3-1.