England opt to bat against India in opening Test in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: England skipper Ben Stokes opted to bat in the opening Test of the five-match series against India in Hyderabad on Thursday.

India picked left-arm spinner Axar Patel ahead of Kuldeep Yadav.

KL Rahul is set to bat at No 4 in absence of Virat Kohli, while Srikar Bharat will be the man behind the stumps.

England handed debut cap to lanky left-arm spinner Tom Hartley.

Teams:

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

England: Ben Stokes (c), Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood and Jack Leach.