The day has arrived that fans have been eagerly awaiting. England and India start five-match Test series from Wednesday at the iconic Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The series opener is also the start of the second cycle of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23.
The hosts would like to repeat what they did to the visitors in 2018 Virat Kohli & Co. with 4-1.
On the other hand, the visitors would strive to turn things around, especially after the 3-1 victory in the home series the Joe Root-led side in February-March earlier this year. Compared to India’s tour of England in 2018, their bowling attack looks much more promising, which is key in English conditions.
The conditions in Nottingham are as usual cloudy, and the field is a classic green upper surface. Without surprises, the bowlers get the early advantage. But since August, the spinners have also played their part, especially in the later stages of the game.
Head-to-head record (in England):
Matches Played: 62 | England win: 34 | India wins: 7 | Trek: 21 | Bound: 0
England will definitely miss Ben Stokes, who took an indefinite break from international cricket due to mental strain. Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson will probably take part in the bowling attack with the veteran duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Middle order batsman Ollie Pous injures his quadriceps during training, and if he remains unfit, Jonny Bairstow will definitely replace him. The hosts will also play a spinner in their XI, especially after losing the recent home series against New Zealand.
ENG XI: Joe Root (c), Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson, Ollie Pope / Jonny Bairstow.
In the absence of Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul most likely comes in as an opener. Although India’s tactics of playing two spinners in the WTC final were not in their favor, it is highly unlikely that their players like Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to add another pacemaker to the bowling attack.
IND XI: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah / Mohammed Siraj.