In August, India and England will face off in a five-match test series, which will be a significant test for the Indian team, who suffered in the ICC World Test Championship finals. New Zealand outperformed India in every category, and India never looked like making a comeback in the finals.
The World Test Championship (WTC) did not go India’s way, as they were defeated by an in-form and well-oiled New Zealand team by 8 wickets on the tournament’s final (reserve) day. Virat Kohli, India’s captain, was visibly unhappy by the defeat and even said that a one-off Test to determine a 2.5-year competition isn’t the way to go.
In the final, Rohit Sharma looked the steadiest batsman for India, although he does go for the flashy drives even when they are far beyond his corridor, something he will be seeking to correct. His expertise in the middle will be invaluable in dealing with the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad with the new ball. He’s also a good slip catcher, which is a valuable talent to have in England, where the ball frequently comes and carries to the slip.
Shubman Gill was the buzz of the town when India won the U-19 World Cup in 2018, as he was the team’s leading run-scorer with 324 runs at a stunning average of 104. Despite struggling to produce a large score in two innings of the World Test Championship finals, Gill will keep his starting spot. He batted valiantly for 30 runs in the first innings, and he had complete control over his strokes until he was dismissed.
Cheteshwar Pujara is unlikely to be dropped for the first test against England, but his place in the team is in jeopardy due to his string of poor scores. This might be his last chance to rediscover his form and settle into the side since he has looked far from his best despite some useful half-centuries.
Kohli is without a doubt the finest batsman in the world right now and one of the game’s all-time greats. One of the primary reasons India has become the team to defeat in all formats of the game is the enthusiasm and contagious energy he brings to the team.
Ajinkya Rahane has been the Indian vice-captain in tests for a long time, and now is the moment for him to break through the hurdles he has faced in prior years. He has played several crucial knocks for India in difficult times to save his spot in the team, and he was also the highest scorer for India in the finals against New Zealand.
In the Test series against England, Rishabh Pant will be India’s X-Factor player, and his temperament will be called into question because he loves to play his natural style. He may lose his wicket, but he has the potential to win games in unlikely circumstances, making him a match-winner, and he should be kept as the first-choice wicketkeeper.
According to statistics, Ravi Ashwin is India’s top off-spinner with 413 wickets in 79 matches at an average of under 25. He is a must-have in the starting eleven, and England batsmen should be wary of the wily Tamil Nadu off-spinner.
In his lone Test match, Shardul Thakur scored 67 runs and claimed seven wickets. This series might provide Shardul Thakur with further opportunities to play Test cricket in foreign settings.
Mohammad Shami was India’s sole effective fast bowler in the World Test Championship, taking four wickets against New Zealand in the first innings. His ability to strike excellent lengths and reverse swing will come in useful in English conditions, which provide plenty of opportunities for fast bowlers.
Ishant Sharma is the first out-and-out fast bowler to play 100 or more Test matches for India, which is a significant accomplishment in and of itself. With 306 wickets under his belt, he has enough experience playing in England.
Siraj’s ability to swing the ball both ways is a strength of his game, and he should be chosen over Jasprit Bumrah, who is better at hitting the distances. In the previous few tests, Bumrah has appeared out of his depth, thus Siraj should get the nod.