After the loss in the World Test Championship Phase 1 final against New Zealand. Team India have been in England conditions for more than one month. This series between India and England will be the first series of ICC World Test Championship final phase 2 . Team India is all set to Race for the Test mace against England starting at the same country where they lost the final in phase 1 of WTC 2021 against Black Caps.
It’s a five match Test Series between the top teams in the world. Team India prepared a squad of 21 Members currently against England . There are few injury concerns in the squad , Young opener Gill will miss the entire series due to toe injury. Added to that players like Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan injured before the series and will leave England soil. To replace these players, SuryaKumar Yadav and opener Prithivi Shaw got the call up for the Test series . Both players will join the squad after two test matches since they have to be quarantined in England.
For England , they were missing two strong pillars Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes in their test team . Though the team had players like Sam curran who was successful in the year 2018.But it’s too early to replace the top class all rounder like Stokes on the other hand to replace the speedster Archer they have added Mark wood in the squad .Mostly these two players will be the like for like replacement in the team .Mark wood will be effective for seam along with legendary combination of Anderson and Broad.
Virat Kohli (Captain ), Ajinkya Rahanae, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari,Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravinchandran Ashwin , Shardul Thakur, Ishant Sharma,Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj,Jaspirit Bumrah, Axar Patel, Wridhimann Saha,Umesh Yadav,Pritivi shaw,Suryakumar yadav,Abimanyu Eswaran
Joe Root(Captain ), Domic Sibley, Zak Crawley,Ollie Pope, Daniel Lawrence, Jos Butler,Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Craig Overton, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Domnic Bess, Jonny Bairstow, Haseeb Hameed.
Location : Trent Bridge , Nottingham
Team England will be the favorites at their home , but in recent years Kohli and his Team breaking the records of overseas teams in both home and away conditions, Though team India lost the 2018 England Test Series, those were not dominant victories by the gave confidence to the Team and fans anything can be possible for Indian Cricket Team.. After this series, Team India breached many records such as winning Australia and But it is not easy to win in England conditions, mostly the home team will remember their loss against India and will take revenge on team India in this series .
After the announcement of Gill injury, another opener Mayank Agarwal injured in the net session and will be rested for the first match.According to the recent buzz, Team India will play Mohammed Siraj in the playing XI for the first time in England by replacing either Ravindra Jadeja or Ravichandran Ashwin . Mostly it will be Jadeja. It’s a very tough call for the captain to choose between these two players. Since , Ashwin had the excellence of playing County Matches for Nottingham and his recent test match strike rate and average in bowling improved in comparison with other years he played in overseas conditions, clearly it will be a combination of four seamers and one spinner in the playing XI. In this tour, Team India might miss the service provided by Hardik Pandya in 2018 against England.
Top 3 Players to Watch Out in Team India:
Yes, the captain itself will top the list , though Kohli proved enough to the world, yet his form is questionable because of Century drought he created in his recent matches. It’s been two years for him ,to score Century for the country . Mostly he will be the key player for Team India .If Virat Kohli gets the rhythm in his first match , his form will seal the series in England and another interesting battle with Anderson and Kohlli, probably it might be the last time in England Condition between these two giant of Cricket in Test match format , facing each other .in a bilateral series .
Another eye will be on KL Rahul ,though he has an average of 35 in test cricket with 199 as highest score along with five Centuries, he was struggling to find a permanent place in the test Team in the past . But right now , he has more chances to become the permanent opener along with Rohit Sharma . He has to just play his own style , if he does the opening slot he might seal the place with his both hands and he also gave the balance of wicket keeper batsman in the playing XI combination , if pant is injured KL will be the next choice wicket keeper in the playing XI ,which might give options to Team India to bring all rounder like Ravindra Jadeja/ Shardul Thakur to bring the strong lower order.
Ravichandran Ashwin :
Ravi Chandran Ashwin will be the biggest difference between these two teams , with his experience in off spin he can turn the game even in the green pitches with his skills. He is the most wicket taker in the WTC 2021 . His presence in the playing XI added value at any session of the game . He will be the player to watch in the entire series , if these three players bring back their form there are high chances of making the series win against England for Kohli.
Team India Playing XI:
According to recent reports, Team India will be playing 6 Batsmen and 5 Bowlers in the first test match .
Openers : KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma
For Rohit Sharma, it will be the first time as an opener against England in English Soil . It will be a threatening swing and bounce in the early stage of the innings from the legendary combination of Broad and Anderson . It will be a big challenge for the hitman, if he has to prove himself a big fish in world Cricket in Test format , a century or match winning knock in this series will set the stage for this modern day legend .On the other hand, the unavailability of current openers made the choice of Rahul, he also has the same pressure to face the deadly opening combination in world Cricket . If Rahul fails to serve his role in the team or lossed his wicket cheaply in early stages of the innings , players like Prithivi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Abimanyu Eeswaran might be the option for the Team management .
Following the openers , the white walker Chateshwar Pujara will be the idle No:3 batsman , there are so many questions about his average , strike rate and batting from the media, but team management will back pujara especially for his solid defence , hope he will answer all the questions against him with the bat in this series.
Virat Kohli, will be the idle choice of No:4 batsman following Pujara ,Then, the same set of batting order will follow the Indian Captain , with the players like Ajinkya Rahanae, Rishabh Pant in the playing XI which ends up the batting order for Team India.
Considering the fact Ravi Ashwin is a Bowling All rounder , the team might go with the combination of four pace bowlers in the playing XI.
Players like Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur will be in the Playing XI combination for the lateral part of this test series.
Mostly in priority the front line seamers like Jaspirit Bumrah , Mohammed Shami , Mohammed Siraj, Ishant Sharma will be the first choice seamers for Team India. Ishant Sharma’s experience added with the seam and swing of young siraj will be a treat to watch for the fans. There are more hopes on Siraj in this series, if he proves himself in this series he might also be a prior fast bowler for the upcoming series for India.
Predicted Playing XI:
- Rohit Sharma
- KL Rahul
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli (C)
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Rishabh Pant(wk)
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Mohammed Shami
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Ishant Sharma
- Mohammed Siraj
England Team Preview:
Team England also had a stronger playing XI combination in their squad, though they miss their two star players ,there is no big vulnerability in their combination . There are some few setbacks like Ollie Pope might rested for first test match due to injury , This might affect the team rhythm . But Players like Zak Crawley, Burns will be eagerly waiting to smash the Indian bowlers to recover from their haunted Indian soil memories. Sam Curran will be the X factor in their Team, England will expect the same 2018 performance from him to win the series. Mostly ,Jos Butler will be their wicket keeper for England team.
Predicted England Playing XI:
- Rory Burns
- Dominic Sibley
- Joe Root(C)
- Zak Crawley
- Jos Butler(wk)
- Sam Curran
- Ollie Robinson
- Mark Wood
- Stuart Broad
- James Anderson
- Jack Leach