Team India’s tour of England kicks on to Edgbaston with the start of a 5 match Test Series on the 1st of August.
What to expect from Team India?
Do the Indian think tank have an early call to make ahead of the 1st Test? Dhawan’s failures in the warm up match against Essex have given Virat and Ravi something to think about and with KL Rahul in sublime form this summer, you wouldn’t be surprised seeing him open with Vijay at Edgbaston.
India’s Test specialists Pujara is back in the whites for India. Pujara is considered as the main stay batsman in the Test team with 4531 runs in just 58 matches compressing of 14 hundreds and 17 fifties, this is a huge summer for Pujara and his success with the bat could well have a significant outcome in the series.
Team India’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane loves to bat overseas and showed again what he could offer in South Africa early this year. Again you’d think his performance like Pujara’s will be key to the outcome of the series.
Skipper Virat Kohli will looking to take his recent limited overs form into the Test series. Kohli has now scored 5554 runs in 66 matches at an average of 53.4 and will be hoping he can make a bigger contribution with the bat than his last Test series in England.
The injury to Saha has meant the ever dependable Dinesh Karthik gets another go in England. DK adds another element of experience to this side and with his recent form with the bat, he will add tremendous depth to this XI.
India’s new pin up boy Hardik Pandya like England’s Ben Stokes is a potential match winner! He offers Virat Kohli 3 dimensions with the bat, ball and his athletic fielding and could well be his go to man depending on the match situation.
Arguably Team India’s most lethal weapon could be Kuldeep Yadav who troubled the English batsman consistently in the limited overs format. Will he replace one of Ashwin or Jadeja to take a spot in the starting XI? Time will tell however his match winning performances in the limited overs format can not go a miss!
The spin-twins of Ashwin and Jadeja have played a major role in taking Team India to No.1 in the Test Match rankings and with Ashwin’s 316 wickets and Jadeja 171 wickets they bring a depth of experience to this side – A good problem to have for Coach and Captain to overcome!
Team India’s major blow just ahead of the Test series was their two main bowlers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah being ruled out due to injuries. Bhuvi is not included currently in the Indian side due to his back injury that he suffered during the 3rd ODI against Engalnd. On the other hand Bumrah will only be available from the 2nd Test depending on his surgery of his thumb which kept him out of the limited overs series as well.
As a result one of the key players to watch out for in the early matches of the Test series will be Ishant Sharma. Ishant played an important role in India’s victory against England in 2014 at Lord’s where he claimed 7 wickets to lead India to victory. His county stint will ensure he is well conditioned so this is a perfect time to repeat the performance and lead the bowling attack for his side.
The good news is the potential replacements for Bhuvi and Jasprit have a fair bit of experience and with in Umesh and Shami pushing for a starting XI spot India gave two seasoned campaigners to reply upon.
The England cricket team it is very difficult to beat them in their home conditions. Both their batsmen and bowlers have done well in the recent Test series against Pakistan.
Captain Kohli and his boys will have learnt a lot from the recent South Africa series and will want to come back stronger in this series and show what this team is really capable of doing and with Team India’s 12th Man in the stands, The Bharat Army will be doing all they can to take the men in blue to a series win abroad!
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The Squads for the first 3 Test matches are as follows:
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur
This is the correct one- Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes.