Is it coming Home for India?
It was way back in 2007 when we won a series against England in England and now it has been a 14-year drought!
Is this the year when team India is looking in form after beating Australia in Australia and England at home while they will also like to overcome the defeat in the World Test Championship Final?
Previous Meeting Learnings:
A Summer Tale of 2018, when India last visited and at that time Kohli was hitting in his sublime form, the bowling was just hitting the pitch and the series which had the worse of the touring side India, it was quick as a flash. Some misjudgments to pick final playing eleven and then misreading the pitch and the conditions, India suffered a lot and just one win at Trent Bridge, India lost 1-4 to England. Yes, the series was far better from the 2014 loss, and in 2018 the team was just unable to close the things at the right moment and did not let it go the way it would have to be.
But it has been two years since then and lots of ups and downs have come into the path for both the teams and have built solid in test cricket. Both the sides have registered some good finishes in the past couple of years as well and coming into a new series and at a different time thus teams tend to do different things to win.
While the series is underway super soon we expect to have Glamour, Cricket of top Quality, Pacey Attack, and Some unbelievable Field Efforts.
India as a team:
The last time we lacked confidence was in the top order and that shaky start always haunted us and most recently in the WTC Final. While Shubhman Gill is out due to injury and M. Agarwal is out of the first test, Prithvi Shaw and Surya Kumar Yadav are set to join team India soon, so the top choice remains is K.L Rahul with the man who is opening for the first time in England in tests, Rohit Sharma. This looks solid, isn’t it? While the same middle-order comes to the rescue every time around but concerns always surround the team, C.Pujara, Out of form, is the biggest concern as he stands as a wall and stands tall in front of top-class bowlers in the world. While if we compare the current form of Kohli, Pujara, and Rahane they average under 30 while the last time in 2018 they clocked to 62,49 and 56 respectively. Yes, this is also a big thing in the mind of the main batsman of the team and after coming on June 2, playing the Final and lots of net practice, this might have given these three the confidence to play at their level best, thing to remember that we are yet to see a century from Virat Kohli since 2019. While Ravi Ashwin and R.Jadeja are in attacking form and would like to play a catalyst role in the seaming conditions. The pace attack which was injured during several times of the year is back with full strength namely. Shami, Siraj, Ishant, Bumrah. Shardul Thakur.
To this attacking lineup that team India can turn things around and this time they look focused and have excellence in the side.
What England looks like without Ben Stokes!
The major blow and concern has been the injury to their main players namely Woakes and Jofra Archer which might be the case that India would take over the series but it’s the mighty Three Lions at their home soil, where they know how to give a major blow to a team where they have the legends of the game playing the sweet 5-day test cricket from a long time. England looks in great touch after playing New Zealand at home, though they lost the two-match series but the confidence and the learning they got might have been capitalized till now. The top order is solid with Dom Sibley, Burns, and Crawley punching the ball nicely. Joe Root, the world number 4 is the main man and the captain who is expected to deliver big and of course he has been in great touch and good form. The lower middle-order includes two wicketkeepers, J.Bairstow and Buttler, and against Indians in the test, they have shown very little grit and consistency. Sam was the main man in 2018 but the side look collapsed after Ben Stokes, one of the best allrounders thought to take some time away from cricket to work on his mental health. The main is sitting home because he is the biggest factor for England in the home series who averages above 55 while the whole team including Root averages 40. The thunder is not available with Woakes and Jofra Archer, both being ruled out due to injury. The new bowling attack includes O.Robinson, spinners, and 2018 test series star Sam Curran with the two legends of the game J. Anderson and S.Broad.
Yes, the injury may keep them at a bay but the Home soil matters the most for any team, it would be interesting to see how the Three Lions fair out the things.
What to expect?
Yes, the expectations are high and with some key battles, we have the spiciness in the series as well.
The cricket of highest quality, India as a powerhouse on paper as England looks low in the batting department, the best team with bat and on-field later will win, these are the key things to expect in the long 5-Match series where we see cricket in whites for more than a month.
Shami vs Root, Broad vs Pant, Virat Kohli vs J.Anderson, two legends of the games who have produces have some great contests, We might see the supremacy of the two is some of the noticeable Key Battles.
“The biggest series of the calendar year which also marks the beginning of the new cycle of the World Test Championship”
“This is the battle of the best in the test, with an eye on mental and physical test as well”