Team India’s 2-1 series victory over Australia was one of the greatest comebacks to be recorded in history. Ajinkya Rahane-led side, despite being battered and bruised, showed great character and application to register historic victories at Melbourne (MCG) and Gabba, Brisbane. The team also registered a famous draw in Sydney.
However massive challenge awaits for Team India as England will be arriving on a long tour of India starting from the first week of February. They are slated to play 4 Tests, 3 ODIs, and 5 T20Is against men in blue. The Indian squad for the first two Test matches has been announced and with skipper, Virat Kohli, returning after paternity leave it will be a massive boost for Team India going into the Test series.
Here’s India’s Predicted XI for the first Test against England:
1. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma has a phenomenal record at home batting top of the order, In his first Test series as an opener, he amassed 529 runs at an average of 132.25 with two hundreds and one double hundred to his name in the four innings he played. Having an average of 88.33 in the 14 home Tests, the veteran opener will be vital to India’s chances against England.
Having being scored 129 runs in the four innings in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Rohit Sharma is set to retain his place as an opener in the first Test match against England.
Rohit Sharma has represented India in 33 Tests and has scored 2,219 runs at a healthy average of 46.32. His tally of 2,219 runs includes 6 centuries and 11 half-centuries.
2. Shubman Gill
Being one of the debutants who impressed everyone with his performance in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy, Shubman Gill amassed 259 runs at a solid average of 51.80 in the six innings he played.
Shubman Gill impressed everyone with his elegant stroke-play at the top of the order and scored 45 & 35* on his debut and followed it up with an elegant fifty at SCG. However, the young 21-years-old came into the limelight once again as he played another stylish inning and scored 91 runs in the series decider at Gabba.
The right-handed batsman was vital in India’s historic victory over Australia Down Under and is expected to retain the opening slot alongside Rohit Sharma despite the availability of Mayank Agarwal.
3. Cheteshwar Pujara
The rock-solid Cheteshwar Pujara was the unsung hero of India’s Test series victory over Australia in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The 32-years-old right-handed batsman batted out 928 deliveries in the four-match Test series and was the second-highest run-scorer for India with 271 runs to his name.
Being a Test-specialist and one of the key players to India’s middle-order over the years, Cheteshwar Pujara is expected to retain his spot play at No. 3 during the upcoming Test series against England.
Cheteshwar Pujara is unarguably one of the best batsmen in Test match cricket at present. He has scored 6,111 at an average of 47.7 in the 81 Test matches he has played. His tally of 6,111 runs includes 18 hundreds and 28 half-centuries.
4. Virat Kohli (C)
After being granted paternity leave by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Indian skipper Virat Kohli left Australia tour after the first Test match at Adelaide for the birth of his first child. However, after being blessed with a baby girl, the Indian skipper is all set to return to action in the first Test match against England.
Batting at No.4, Virat Kohli will add stability to the middle order. However, finishing the year 2020 without a single century, Virat Kohli would want to start 2021 with a bang as he averages 68.42 at home with bat and will be a big threat for England.
The last time skipper Kohli played a Test was in December 2020 against Australia, he scored 74 runs until was run out. The 32-year-old batsman could well be the difference between both sides.
5. Ajinkya Rahane
Having being done a fantastic job as Team India’s leader in Australia, Ajinkya Rahane will return to his vice captain’s role against England. The former was one of the highest scorers among Indians in Australia.
With Virat Kohli being back in the squad, Ajinkya Rahane is set to play at his position at No.5. Rahane was the architect of India’s famous win in Melbourne and the former would want to carry his form to the series against England. The 33-year0old batsman could be one of the key batsmen to India’s chances against England.
However, Ajinkya Rahane is the leading run-scorer for India in the World Test Championship with 983 runs, The Mumbaikar is expected to play at No.5 against England. The 33-year-old batsman has notched up 4,410 at an average of 42.45 in the 68 Test matches he has played.
6. Rishabh Pant (wk)
India’s Brisbane Test hero, Rishabh Pant, is likely to retain his place. Many fans feel Wriddhiman Saha is a better gloveman than Pant. However, one cannot ignore Pant’s match-winning performance in Australia.
However, with Pant being in limelight for his wicketkeeping skills, he will have to face challenges in the spinning conditions as his record behind the stumps is not which one would want to have.
With his 274 runs, Rishabh Pant was the highest run-scorer for India in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He also broke MS Dhoni’s record to become the fastest India wicketkeeper-batsman to score 1000 Test runs.
7. Washington Sundar
The 21-year-old Sundar was asked to stay back in Australia after the white-ball leg of the tour and practiced at the nets, that helped him in his unplanned Test debut at the Gabba.
R Ashwin’s injury ahead of the 4th Test-match was a blessing in disguise for Washington Sundar as he made his Test debut for India. Impressing everyone with his all-round performance and with Ravindra Jadeja not being available, the all-rounder from Tamil Nadu is expected to retain his place.
Having being played only 13 first-class matches, Sundar has amassed 616 runs with the bat at a handy average of 32.42 and has scalped 32 wickets at an average of 28.88.
8. Ravi Ashwin
Having been missed the last Test of the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy due to injury, R Ashwin is set to return to action in the first Test match against England at his home ground. The veteran off-spinner will fancy his chances against the England batsmen, who are not that much comfortable against spin.
R Ashwin recently added a record to his name he became the bowler with most dismissals against the left-handers in Test cricket (192). However, with England having a lot of left-handers on the side, Ashwin will be a big threat to them. His batting lower down the order will also be crucial.
R Ashwin is arguably one of the best spinners India has ever produced the former has represented India in 74 Test matches and bagged 377 wickets at an average of 25.54 to his name. His tally of 377 wickets includes 27 five-wickets hauls.
9. Kuldeep Yadav
With Ravindra Jadeja sustaining an injury during the third Test match at Sydney (SCG), Kuldeep Yadav was expected to replace him in the fourth Test match, However Team India surprised everyone by opting for Washington Sundar ahead of Kuldeep Yadav.
With conditions favouring spin bowling in India, there is a big chance for India to include the chinaman bowler in their XI against England in the first Test. Having last played a Test match in January of 2019, his erratic form has mostly kept Kuldeep out of India’s XI but the chinaman has a decent record in longest-format of the game.
Kuldeep Yadav has bagged 24 wickets to his name in the 6 Test matches he has played. His tally of 24 wickets includes two 5-wicket-hauls.
10. Ishant Sharma
After missing the Australia tour due to a side strain injury Ishant Sharma is expected to be drafted straightaway into India’s XI against England. However it will be hard for Team management to leave out Mohammed Siraj after his Brisbane heroics, but the team management would prefer Ishant’s experience.
Returning to action after almost a year, the senior pacer will be raring to go and grab few scalps with the new ball to his name. The ace pacer is currently three matches short of becoming only the second Indian fast bowler to play 100 Test matches after Kapil Dev.
Ishant Sharma is by far the most experienced bowler in India’s Test squad. He will need to put that experience to good use and lead the pack. The pacer has picked up 297 wickets in 97 matches he has played.
11. Jasprit Bumrah
Being forced to sit out of the Gabba Test due to abdominal strain, star Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah is expected to feature in the first Test match against England. He is one of the bowlers to watch out for.
The first Test match against England will be his first at home soil and all eyes will be on the 27-year-old fiery pacer as to how he will perform in the subcontinent conditions, where pitch conditions don’t offer much for fast bowlers.
Jasprit Bumrah could be vital to India’s chances against England. He has scalped 79 wickets for India in 17 Test matches. His tally of 79 wickets includes five 5-wicket-hauls.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- India vs England: Virat Kohli confirms Team India’s openers for the first T20I
- Virat Kohli picks favourites for T20 World Cup 2021
- IND vs ENG: 1st T20I, Match Prediction- Who will win today’s match?
- India vs England, 2021: 1st T20I, Statistical Preview – Babar Azam’s record in danger; Kohli, Rohit eye new milestones
- Top Stories: Things that made news in the cricket world today