Following a horrific defeat of 2-1 in the ODI series, the Men in Blue would be eyeing to exhibit some back-breaking performances in upcoming India vs England test series that would commence in a week’s interval.
And, what could be the sweetest way to extract revenge than a series victory in England, against a unit that looks invincible while playing in the home conditions.
Though India might be lacking the necessary firepower at the moment, with their key players injured for the first couple of games, still, they would leave no opportunity to get the better of the English players when needed.
It would be hard to comment on the outcome of the 5 match series, yet, one could predict the epic face-offs that would be put to display for the fans of Indian as well as the English cricket.
Player faceoff you could witness in India vs England test series
James Anderson vs Virat Kohli
This would be one hell of a competition for the cricket fans to witness. The swing specialist versus the run machine would be a total ripper.
Virat Kohli is already a legend at 29 years of age. He has proved himself as the number 1 batsman across all three formats on many occasions and is regarded as the best batsman of the present generation.
Unfortunately, his scoring ability was put to hiatus back in 2014 India’s tour of England. His 134 runs in 10 innings that he played is regarded as his worst cricketing figures in the red ball cricket till date.
This summer too, his batting abilities would be put to test against James Anderson and we all know how lethal the Burnley Express could be when playing in the English conditions.
The King of Swing managed to send Virat back to the pavilion on 4 occasions by getting him dismissed on caught behind or at the slips. You could say that Virat is Anderson’s bunny, as he averages mere 6 against the swing specialist when playing in the longer format of the game.
R Ashwin vs Alastair Cook
England’ all-time leading run scorer is perhaps going through a poor run with the bat for the past couple of years. Cook certainly isn’t the player that he once was, still, one must never forget the experience he brings onto the side with his presence.
If you look closely, you’d realize that the former England skipper enjoys playing more against India than any other test playing nation.
In 25 matches that he has played against the Indian unit, he has managed to amass 2104 runs at an average of 50.10, with 6 hundreds and 8 fifties. Even his high score of 294 came against the Men in Blue in the 2011 India’s tour of England.
But, this time the situation might change a bit, as he’d be competing against the likes of the Indian spinner R Ashwin who’s perhaps one of the best spinners in the world at present.
The Indian off-spinner currently ranks 5th in the test rankings and has turned more into a bowling all-rounder for the team by delivering some top-notch hitting abilities under pressure situations.
What’s worth noticing, is that Cook has a pretty bad record while playing against spin deliveries. In his last 3 tours to Asia, the left-hander was dismissed to spin on 14 occasions i the 17 innings, with 9 times to off-spinners.
Well, this is one thing that the Indian team would like to take into their advantage for the upcoming tests against the English unit.
Ishant Sharma vs Joe Root
England skipper Joe Root is regarded among the fab-4 of this present generation, alongside the likes of Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson. He has turned himself into a man of big occasions by scoring some scintillating knocks when needed. In the concluded ODI series too he smashed back to back centuries to take his team to victory.
And, from his present form, it looks like he would try to emulate a similar performance in the longer format of the game.
Root’s technique and temperament have made him a class apart in the present era of cricket. But, his style of play would be put to test against the senior-most Indian pacer Ishant Sharma, who played an integral role behind India’s solitary victory in the 2014 Tour of England.
The veteran of 82 tests will leave no stone unturned to get the better of the England skipper. Moreover, Ishant’s stint in the country cricket will only help him derailing the Root Express from creating any havoc in the upcoming tests.
By now the Indian pacer would have adjusted to the English conditions and realized what it takes to bowl out the batsmen in those testing situations.