After completing the historic heist against Australia, a new challenge beckons Team India as they face England in the four-match Test series. The first of the four-match series commences on February 5 (February) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The host will be oozing with confidence after thumping Australia 2-1 with a relatively young side last month. The addition of regular skipper Virat Kohli and senior pacer Ishant Sharma will boost their side. However, the management will face the selection dilemma after young cricketers delivered the goods in the absence of seniors in Australia.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will continue to open – Virat Kohli
Popular perceptions say that Axar Patel might earn his debut cap in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja given that England have a long history of troubles against the left-arm spinners. Also, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod between Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj in the first Test in Chennai. Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant will continue to keep wickets for India, confirmed Virat Kohli.
On the other hand, England also come back from a clean sweep against Sri Lanka. The addition of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes will boost their confidence. They have prior knowledge of playing in these conditions which will come in handy for the visitors as they aim for a spot in the ICC World Test Championship final at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
However, they will miss the service of their regular opener, Zak Crawley, due to a wrist injury. Rory Burns and Dom Sibley are expected to open the innings while Moeen Ali will make his way back in the playing XI. Moreover, it will be interesting to see which two fast bowlers get the nod ahead between James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Jofra Archer.
India vs England 2021, 1st Test at MA Chidambaram Stadium starting from 9:30 AM IST
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar/Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav/Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah
England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad
Match Prediction – Who will win the match?
So far, India have played 60 Test matches against England at home condition. Virat Kohli & Co have won 19 matches whereas the Three Lions have secured a win 13 times with their last win coming way back in 2012.
As a result, India will start at the firm favourites to win the Test match and go 1-0 up in the four-match series.