India vs England, 1st Cricket Test: Match Preview
Rajkot: Rajkot will debut as a Test venue when Virat Kohli led Indian Cricket team will play England in the first Test match of the five-match series at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Wednesday.
"We are coming as underdogs against India," Stuart Broad had said. The aggressive Virat Kohli will play all his cards to stamp England’s statement of being underdogs in front of India. On paper, England is placed at no. 4 spot in the ICC Test rankings while Indians top the list. On one hand, India’s morale is high with 3-0 series win over New Zealand while England has suffered a shocking defeat in the hands of Bangladesh. Bangladesh, recently, had managed to level the series 1-1 against England.
If we go back in the last Test face-off between India and England, England had surpassed MS Dhoni led India in 2012 in the four match series by 2-1. The series will also mark the inclusion of Decision Review System (DRS) for the first time in Test Series in India.
- India is unbeaten from last 14 matches being played on its home soil. India was thumped last by England at home in 2012.
- Indian batsmen KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are hit by injuries.
- It will be clash of 24-year old talent Karun Nair and limited overs specialist Hardik Pandya to make debut in the red ball Cricket.
- Experienced Gautam Gambhir will open India’s inning along with Murali Vijay.
- Cheteshwar Pujara is all time favourite in Tests.
- Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane are the charms.
- Spinners will yet again have a big responsibility. R. Aswhin, A. Mishra and R. Jadeja may play India’s major weapons.
- Ishant Sharma is again back in the side post missing New Zealand series owing to illness.
- The pace department looks strong in the lights of Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant.
- England lacks ace-pacer James Anderson in the first encounter due to shoulder injury.
- Known for its pace, England has its bag full with pacers like Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and Chris Woakes.
- England has come with spinners including Zafar Ansari, Adil Rashid and Gareth Batty.
- Alaister Cook is the man to watch out for.
- Gary Ballance had made things tough for the hosts in the last face-off.
- Joe Root, Stokes and Jos Buttler have to play some outstanding Cricket in front of Indian spin.
As per the pitch curator, the pitch will help spinners.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice Captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (Wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav
England: Alastair Cook (Captain), Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Haseeb Hameed, Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes
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