Fresh from a historic series victory in the Australian continent, the boys in blue are up for a new challenge. With many difficulties they had to face amidst the pandemic, captain Virat Kohli leaving to India after the first test and Ajinkya Rahane taking his captain’s responsibilities, the Indian team sure didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The team is in great form, and several new heroes were born out of the Australia test series, including Rishab Pant, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, and Shubman Gill. This has increased our expectations for the upcoming test series against India, and we hope the Indian team emerges victorious yet another time.
Expectations From The Indian Boys
For this series against England, the skipper Virat Kohli is back to play his first test for the year 2021, and expectations are very high on him as he has gone without hitting a century for the entire year of 2020. There was a time when Virat Kohli’s consistent batting performances were the talk of every cricketing town, and the spectators can’t wait to see him come back to form. The new decade and the child’s birth might finally bring him back into the much needed Kohli-esque form. Speculations are rife on how the captain will steer his team into a precious home victory as well as regain his batting form.
Another player in the spotlight for making his comeback is India’s top test pacer, Ishant Sharma. Returning after a long time to play a test match, a lot of eyes are on him, considering the experience he will be bringing into this game. However, unlike the previous series where the problem for selectors was to find players to select amidst several injuries and leaves, this time the competition for the pacer’s spot is tough and gritty. Jasprit Bumrah has returned and will be leading the pacing roster. The spot for the second speedster is tied between incoming Ishant Sharma and the hero of Gabba, Mohammed Siraj.
With 13 wickets in three tests and fresh from the historical Gabba 5-wicket haul, Mohammed Siraj is all set to continue his wicket-taking rampage. It will be exciting to see how the Indian coach, Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and captain Virat Kohli will manage the selections and choose a team fit for the occasion.
Axar Patel will also return to replace all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who recently left the team due to a severe thumb injury. Although not an experienced all-rounder of the ranks of Jadeja, there is still some hope for Axar as his place as a left-arm leg spinner is going to be a crucial determining factor against the seven right-hand batsmen of England.
Kuldeep Yadav and Washington Sunder will also play an integral role in strengthening the strong bowling side for the Indian team. As always, Ravichandran Ashwin will be a strong backbone to the spinners’ lineup. It will depend on the selectors to pick the right set for each game depending on the conditions and form of the spinners. Hardik Pandya might also pose some selection challenges for the spot of an all-around performer.
As for the batting lineup, we are most likely to see a lot of action from Shubman Gill, who is in great form, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, the test specialist, and of course, Rishabh Pant, who is also playing a great game since the series against Australia.
Other batsmen in the squad include Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal, both of whom have been quite consistent as of late. For wicket-keeping, though, the selectors might have to choose from Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant, but seeing as how Pant is in extraordinary form, it might be wise to play him in the 1st test match.
Expectations From Englishmen
However, fresh from a 2-0 series sweep against Sri Lanka, the Englishmen are not to be taken lightly. Skipper Joe Root has been in tremendous form, and a significant total of the runs scored by England in this series have been exclusively Joe Root’s contribution. Scoring a double century and another century in the series, Root’s form for the coming series is unquestionable.
With all-rounder Ben Stokes’s return, he will be another player to look out for in the test series. With a significant test experience against India, Ben Stokes’s only five-wicket haul against India comes on Indian soil.
Even the bowling side has done a decent job, with Bess, Leach, Broad, and Anderson all contributing to an ideal bowling lineup. But the bowler we’re most looking forward to seeing is the fully rested pacer, Jofra Archer, the fastest bowler of the English team. Although not considered an ideal pitch for pacers, the M A Chidambaram stadium might be full of surprises. Archer also has some significant IPL experience, which might help him crusade the strong Indian batting lineup.
Get, Set, Go
Similar to most games on the cricket betting apps, the stakes involved are high. Although being a reliable team as far as test matches go, and having recently won against Sri Lanka, England will have a tough time changing history to its favor as a major portion of tests played against India in India have been on the host’s side. Out of the past five series played in India, between England and India, England has only won one test series. In contrast, India has won three series, with the most recent series being a clean sweep of 4-0 in India’s favor.
Also, the fact that India is leading the points table in the ICC World Test Championships and is second to New Zealand in the ICC Test Rankings is a great advantage for India to both strengthen and keep its place as a dominant force to be reckoned with. If India wins this series, it is most likely to face off against New Zealand in the final of the ICC World Test Championship for the first-ever World Test Championship Trophy. We are hoping to see an exciting yet nail-biting victory for the home team.