INDIA TOUR OF ENGLAND, 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
Joe Root and Virat Kohli pose with the trophy on the eve of the five-match Test series. © Getty
Will the bold moves made by Joe Root for the Edgbaston Test pay off? Our England correspondent, Vithushan Ehantarajah, offers his opinion, here
More from Vithushan here on England cricket – he believes the next month-and-a half will either bring them up to speed or send them to the tarmac. Consume all that insight now
Kohli vs Anderson
Is there a battle bigger to witness during this series than the one between Kohli and Anderson? Our stats engine, Deepu Narayanan, dissects it with his expert numbers, here
India (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma
England (Playing XI): Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (w), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Surprised, are you? India are going in with one spinner – R Ashwin. So, no Kuldeep. One suspects the toss-up between Rahul and Pujara would have been a difficult one too, as Rahul gets the nod. Hardik Pandya plays as the all-rounder alongside three seamers in Ishant, Shami and Umesh.
Toss time, folks
Joe Root, the England skipper, has won the toss and opted to bat first.
It’s been a long standing debate and has divided the cricket fandom into two clear parts – Are India deservedly the No.1 Test side? Ask the Indian fans and they would throw a statistic right in your face that their bowlers picked all 20 wickets in all three Tests in South Africa, and that to many is the standout feature of this Indian side and will be a big factor during this Test series in England.
On the other hand, England haven’t been questioned as much in the past as now, for a multitude of factors. Their opening conundrum, inexperience in the pace battery, the surprise factor in Adil Rashid, their current form… phew, that’s a lot… are all reasons enough to create a small doubt. But then history is strongly stacked in the hosts’ favour – 4-0 in 2011, 3-1 in 2014. That should give them a lot of confidence.
While England have already announced their playing XI, India’s can be a big riddle. Dhawan – to play or not to play? Can you leave out Rahul? Should India play two spinners?