The India vs England 2021 series will kick-off with a four match Test Series, the first of which will start from 5th of February at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Then the teams will compete in a 5-match T20 series and a 3-match ODI series. Both the teams are coming into the Test Series full of confidence on the back of an overseas win. England recently clean-swept the 2 match Test series in Sri Lanka.
While India will be oozing in confidence after a historic series win in Australia. Many key players including the skipper Virat Kohli was missing for the most of the 4-match Test series, still, India managed to defeat the Aussies 2-1 in their own backyard. So India vs England should be a cracker of a series as both the teams are in-form and will be facing each other in a key battle to ensure a top-two finish in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.
In the Indian team, we have got some new heroes in the famous win in Australia. So in this series, some of their performances along with a few returnees will be something to look forward.
India vs England 2021: 5 Indian Players to watch out for in the Test series
5. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin was one of the heroes of the series win Down Under. His heroics with the bat along with Hanuma Vihari helped India salvage an improbable draw in the Sydney Test. Ashwin was also great with the ball although he didn’t have a 5-for against his name. His 12 wickets in 3 matches proved to be a crucial contribution in the series win.
Now Ashwin will be playing in conditions which suits him the most and where he is an undisputed king till now. His record in India is extraordinary. In 43 matches at home, the Chennai lad has 254 scalps to his name with 21 five-wicket hauls and six 10-wicket hauls. Ashwin has also scored 2 out of his 4 test centuries in India.
So without any doubt in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, Ashwin will be the leader of the bowling attack in Ind vs Eng Test series. The first two matches will be played in his home ground hence he will be extra motivated to do well after some good performance in overseas.
4. Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill was one of the stars of the miracle series win in Australia. He got his Test cap in the Boxing Day match at the MCG and straight away made his mark by scoring an impressive 45 in challenging conditions. In the second innings of his Test career, Gill took India home by scoring an unbeaten 35 while chasing a small target of 70 runs.
But the real potentials and talent of Shubman Gill were seen in the 4th Test match at the Gabba. While chasing a huge 4th inning total of 328, the 21-year-old made a sublime 91. He was smashing the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the bouncy pitch of Brisbane at ease.
The world cricket has seen the arrival of Shubman Gill. But now the real challenge for him is to live up to the expectations that he has created among the Indian cricket fans. So the India vs England Test Series is a perfect opportunity for Gill to seal the opening slot by scoring some big runs at the top. Scoring runs against the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer will be a big challenge for him.
3. Rishabh Pant
The best batsman of India in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar trophy – Rishabh Pant will be grabbing all the eyeballs in the India-England Series. The wicket-keeper batsman was the top scorer for India in the series against Australia. His match-winning knock of 89* is still itched in the hearts of the Indian fans as he gears up to face the Englishmen.
The main aspect which everyone is worried about Pant is his wicket-keeping. We have seen in Australia that Pant dropped catches of spinners and fast bowlers as well. So in the turning pitches of India, his keeping against spin will be something to closely monitor.
Rishabh Pant the batsman, should be high in confidence after what he was able to achieve in Australia. Although in India, he has batted only twice in Test matches and got out in 92 on both the occasions.
2. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma’s tour of Australia was full of confusions and controversy. The skipper Kohli was confused about his fitness situation, and finally, when the BCCI cleared him to play, he landed in a restaurant controversy in Australia. After all of that Rohit played in the third Test match in Sydney and was involved in a 70 run partnership with Shubman Gill. He made 26 in the first innings and 52 in the second innings.
The mode of dismissal in the second innings of the Sydney Test drew a lot of criticism to Rohit Sharma. His urge to play the lofted pull shot cost him the wicket and left India in a dreary situation. Overall, it was an average tour of Australia for the Mumbaikar where he made only 129 runs at an average of 32.25.
With youngster like Gill coming and performing in the opening slot and batsmen like Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul waiting in the wings, Rohit Sharma certainly can’t afford to play some cheap innings. He needs to score big against England and his performances is certainly one to look forward in the India vs England clash.
1. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli was the talk of the town when he decided to take paternity leave for the birth of his firstborn. As expected the decision drew mixed reactions and the 36 all out in Adelaide just before his departure made things even worse. After Ajinkya Rahane’s superb job as the stand-in captain, some people have got the chance to have a go at Virat Kohli. Many people think that Rahane should be made the permanent captain instead of Kohli.
So basically, Virat Kohli is under the pump ahead of the India vs England series, to perform not only as of the captain of the team but also as an individual player. The year 2020 turned out to be the worst year for the Indian skipper as he couldn’t score a single century in any of the formats. The last century of Virat Kohli in Test cricket was against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in November 2019. After that Virat struggled in the New Zealand tour and had to leave the Australian tour after the first match only.
Kohli’s colleagues in the “Fab 4” of world cricket – Kane Williamson, Steven Smith and Joe Root have scored centuries in their last Test series. So Virat Kohli would be itching to make some triple-digit scores in the series against England to stamp his authority. So a run hungry Virat Kohli is one the leading Indian players to watch out for in the India vs England Test series.
~ Written by Vaskar Gautam
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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