England choose to bat in first India Test

Rajkot (India) (AFP) –


England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat against India in the opening Test in Rajkot on Wednesday.

The visitors handed a debut to 19-year-old Haseeb Hameed who becomes the youngest player to open the batting for England in Tests.

Hameed will partner Cook, who surpassed Michael Atherton's record of 54 Tests as England captain.

India brought in leg-spinner Amit Mishra for the game, the only change from the side that beat New Zealand in their third Test last month. India won that series 3-0.

The Saurashtra Cricket Association ground, hosting a Test for the first time, marked the occasion with a colourful cultural programme and released hundreds of balloons into the air.

India and England will play four more Tests in Mohali, Vishakhapatnam, Chennai and Mumbai.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Ben Duckett, Haseeb Hameed, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI) and Chris Gaffaney (NZL)

TV umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS)

Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)