India is all set to begin the 5 match test series against England on their home soil. India’s tour of England started with three T20 matches which India won 2-1. It was followed by a loss for India in the ODI series by 2-1 at the hands of the hosts. The 5 test match series therefore begins with both teams sitting parallel to each other. The India England test series named after Nawab Pataudi therefore, is a must win for India. The 1st match which is scheduled to begin on August 1, 2018 will also be the 1000th test match appearance for the England Cricket team. By the end of this series England will become the first team to have played 1000 or more test matches, India must try everything to clinch this trophy from the hands of the English. India looks all set to compete with gusto in this series under the leadership of Virat Kohli and it is great news that he is surrounded by the some of the best players of the game.
1.) Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, is the embodiment of a leader who leads from the front. With unmatched class, a plethora of textbook cricketing shots and armed with the urge to win he is arguably India’s best batsman today. Virat Kohli had managed a meagre total of 134 runs in five matches in the previous tour to England in 2014. His dismal performance had drawn lot of flak from Indians and fans around the world, but the Virat Kohli of 2018 is a changed and improved version of his 2014 self. He is a leader and takes the onus of bringing the matches to a finish on himself. This becomes apparent when we see him scoring 301 runs in the six limited over games in the present tour. The reigning International Cricket Council player of the year, Virat Kohli is a formidable opponent for the Englishmen and will prove to be a huge deterrent in their path to winning the series.
2.) Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli is followed closely by his vice-captain and probably the only Indian batsman who enjoys playing on foreign pitches more than he enjoys the Indian conditions, Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane is a formidable player and is only one of the four Indian batsmen who have scored a century in their first game at the Lord’s cricket ground. His grit and determination make him the successor to Rahul Dravid in today’s Indian team. A reliable player with unmatched defensive and offensive abilities when he wants to attack, Rahane is the man to look for when India loses a few quick wickets.
3.) Ishant Sharma
The most important factor while playing on the English soil becomes the fast bowling attacks, and those cloudy conditions which can topple any great batting lineup. Thankfully, India this time has the right mix of pace and experience in its bowling attack which is led by the most experienced of them all, Ishant Sharma, who has proven time and again his durability and efficiency at going hard after the wickets of the opposition. The tall, lanky fast bowler has proved helpful for his side many a times. His ability to bowl long spells and his experience with the old ball makes him a deadly weapon. He has also been playing a lot of county cricket in England recently acclimatizing to the English conditions therefore is not a problem for the Delhi born Ishant Sharma.
4.) Umesh Yadav
He is the fastest of the lot which will play the first test match at Birmingham. His ability to clock 145+ kmph consistently makes him a lethal addition to the Indian pace attack. His recent performances in the IPL have shown that he is capable of snatching the game away from batsmen even on batting friendly wickets. He has the chance to prove his efficiency in the long format in Birmingham and Lord’s before the final call on Bhuvaneshwar and Bumrah joining the team is taken.
5.) Mohammad Shami
Mohammad Shami has the necessary experience and the skill needed to make India the dominant side in the test match. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar the mantle of taking the team to the finish falls on Shami. The pace battery will prove to be important in the English conditions as it has proven to be in the past.
The Indian team should and must go for the kill this time considering the talent they have with them. There is no use holding back now and tomorrow when the Indian and English sides get down to play their first match we hope a tough fight will be on display for the fans of both the sides.