INDIA-ENG TEST SERIES PREVIEW

INDIA -ENGLAND  TEST SERIES IN ENGLAND PREVIEW- 2021

Courtesy : Times of India.

As the  battle lines are drawn for another awe inspiring Test series between England and India Test series and getting underway today at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, let’s peep into the history of the rivalry.

The Pataudi Trophy (named in 2007 after India’s illustrious cricketer M.A.K. Pataudi )was claimed by India once only in the inaugural series in 2007 under the captainship of Rahul Dravid with a solitary win at Trent Bridge, Nottingham in the 3 Test series.

The India-England  Test series will kick start the second edition of ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP  (WTC), which will be played in 2021-23 cycle. 

More than winning the Pataudi Trophy, a feat India last achieved under the leadership of RAHUL DRAVID in 2007, Kohli said the challenge for his team was to win in “situations which are not ours”.

INDIA IN ENGLAND 

India and England played 62 Tests in England from 1932.  England won 34 tests and India won 7 tests.

After 22 outings, India registered its first Test win in English soil in 1971 at The Oval under the leadership of Ajit Wadekar with Indian spinners having a field day led by the unpredictable  leg spinner Chandrasekar and it also marked India’s Firstever Test series win in England.

India had to wait for another 15 years for the next series victory as the team led by the mercurial all rounder Kapil Dev.  Kapil led his team into a tumultuous win in 1986 by 2-0 by winning comprehensively both in Lord’s and Headingley, Leeds.

Then under the leadership of “The Wall”, Rahul Dravid in 2007, India won the Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham and also the series with 1-0.

Though India did win a Test in 2014 under M.S. Dhoni at Lord’s with Ishant Sharma & Bhuvneshkumar bowling their best, but India had to suffer heavy defeats in the remaining 3 Tests.

In our last outing in 2018 under “King “ Kohli, we could manage a solitary win in the 3rd Test at Trent Bridge with Kohli leading from the front with 97 & 103 runs and Jasprit Bumraha’s incisive spell, after a humiliating innings defeat when they were blown away by the English pacemen and Chris Woakes scoring a magnificent century in the 2nd test at Lord’s.

Now, India with well acclimatising with the weather conditions at England and a practice match before the Test series are well equipped to take on a depleted England side in the absence of their mercurial all rounder Ben Stokes, bowlers Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes due to injuries.  England will include the young all rounder Sam Curran who made a sensational start in 2018 against India and Jonny Bairstrow in place of the injured Ollie Pope.

Indian team have a dilemma  to choose the best XI, though there are indications from the Captain’s pre-match interview that the all rounder Shardul Thakur will make it to the playing XI and Mohamed Siraj will also make a cut into the final XI.  Two spinners may be a luxury in England pitches and the captain will be tempted to include the all rounder and athletic fielder Ravindra Jadeja into the XI and leave out R. Ashwin.

We have to wait and see whether the history will repeat at Trent Bridge as India has most success here with 2 wins here.     

England (possible): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 Joe Root (capt), 5 Ollie Pope/Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Ollie Robinson, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Jack Leach, 11 James Anderson

India (possible): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ishant Sharma / Mohammed Siraj, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

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