August sees the Indian cricket team traveling to England to take part in a five-match Test series. The first match will take place at Trent Bridge on 4 August, and India will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat by New Zealand in the ICC World Test Championship earlier this year.
India will be hoping that the conditions suit their bowling attack and that England continues to experience the mediocre batting that saw them crumble against New Zealand this summer. However, many betting sites think that England could beat India in the first Test and you can read more about those bookmakers here. So do India have what it takes to claim a big Test series victory in England?
A Big Test For Kohli’s Team
India will arrive in England will plenty to prove this August. The Indian team has failed to win a Test series in England in 14 years, and Virat Kohli, the best run-scorer in the history of IPL, will be desperate to get a result in the face of big disappointments in the country. Most notably the 4-1 series in 2018 was a crushing blow for the team despite Kohli personally putting in some impressive performances. While India triumphed when entertaining England earlier this year, it’ll be a different challenge away from home.
Much will depend on how India’s batting line-up copes with the attack of England’s seam bowlers. In particular, it’s the form of Rohit Sharma that is generating plenty of interest. The Indian opener has somehow bounced back into becoming a key player at the top of the batting order. However, much depends on how Sharma copes with the English conditions. He managed to look solid against New Zealand in the ICC World Test Championship, although he will have been disappointed that he didn’t achieve a higher score.
Plus KL Rahul will be hoping to continue the strong run of form that he’s seen in recent games. The batter recently scored a century in a warm-up game against a County Select XI in Durham. He had been away from his best for a while but is now back in contention for the Indian middle batting order after an excellent score of 101. This is especially true as Rahul managed to score 149 when India last toured England.
Of course, much of India’s chances depend on how well the team manages the rigors of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rishabh Pant tested positive for Covid prior to the warm-up match and there’s a real danger that India might not have the strength in depth in the squad to cope if similar situations emerge. But if things stay on track, then India should be able to beat England this summer.[Video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX0whwSKGYE ]
Can England Compete Against An In-Form India?
England’s Test cricket team has suffered from an inconsistency in the form in recent months. As such, the selectors have faced a real challenge in selecting a Test squad that’s large enough to withstand the difficulties of the Covid pandemic, and prepared enough to effectively compete with India.
The bowling attack of England will suffer the absence of Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes who have both been declared unfit to play. However, there will be the return of Ollie Robinson to the England team. Robinson shone in recent matches against New Zealand but was suspended as a result of historical offensive social media content.
While England’s bowling talent has been a strength in recent years, there is still an element of uncertainty as to the batting line-up. England has suffered numerous batting collapses, and the lack of consistency in the selection of the opening pair is a testament to the team’s troubles.
However, Ben Stokes will be back in the squad after leading England to victory over Pakistan in one-day cricket. There will be further strengthened in the middle of the batting order with Sam Curran and Joss Buttler back in the squad.
But India will certainly be fancying their chances against England’s openers who could be any combination of Jonny Bairstow, Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, or Zak Crawley. Plus with big question marks remaining over the captaincy of Joe Root, it could be a very enjoyable summer for India in England.