India will take on the hosts England in a five-match test series from August 4 at Nottingham. Both the teams will be keen to win the first test and set the momentum for the series.
The focus will be on senior and experienced players such as Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Joe Root. However, Former Australia cricketer Nathan Hauritz feels wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will be a key player in the series.
Speaking to the Times of India, Hauritz said that Rishabh Pant has the ability to take the game away from the opposition.
“For India, Virat is incredibly important. For England, Joe Root is incredibly important. But I will pick Rishabh Pant. He is so dynamic and so aggressive. He holds that lower-order set up and he can take the game away from you. He’s going to keep developing as a young cricketer. He is maturing with age. Hope that he can keep learning from his mistakes,” said Hauritz.
This will be Rishabh Pant’s second tour of England. In 2018, he made his debut in the whites at Trent Bridge, Nottingham against the hosts. The left-hander also scored his maiden century on the tour in the fifth test match at The Oval.
Indian batting has underperformed, but there is a lot of class there: Nathan Hauritz
Along with Rishabh Pant, the bowlers will also play a major role in shaping up the series, feels Hauritz. He also expects the Indian skipper Virat Kohli to get back amongst runs in the England test series.
“I think it will come down to the bowlers. Indian batting lineup has underperformed recently in the WTC final. But a lot of class is there. We can’t expect Virat not to perform for such a long period. I fully expect him to make some runs soon. England bowling attack of Anderson and Broad looked a bit tired in the last Test series against New Zealand. It will be Indian bowlers in the series against England.”
Nathan Hauritz adds that it will be a close encounter between the two teams and predicts a drawn series.
“Hopefully, the weather doesn’t play a part. England are really tough to beat in their own backyard. But India are at their peak. Anything is possible. I predict a drawn series. England’s top order is really under pressure at the moment and India bowlers can definitely expose them,” the former Aussie off-spinner concluded.