India is about to face England today in the first test-match on 1st August at Edgbaston. England will play their 1000th test today. On the other hand, India needs to strive hard to avenge their defeat in the three ODI series. India won their last test series in England in 2007 under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid.
On the other hand, England has the win-loss ratio of 3.375 on their home ground, which is better than any other country in the current situation. India lost 5 games and one draw in the recent past out of six outings. They have a poor record in England as well.
Apart from the history, Ishant Sharma is the only player of the squad who played for the team in 2011 and 2014. He has the vast experience of playing in the county format and three series on the England soil. The fitness issues of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are points of contention for the team though Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami will shoulder the load of pace bowling department along with Shardul Thakur. Mohammed Shami cleared the yo-yo test and adapted to the conditions of English pitches by the warm-up matches by playing for Sussex and slammed 23 and 50 of four matches at a decent average of 23 and picked 15 wickets.
The Indian captain Virat Kohli may opt for 5 bowlers including one of the three spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav. Kuldeep Yadav will play his first test match against today probably. There are expectations that the pitches at Edgbaston may not be very bouncy like the typical English pitches.
Though Cheteshwar Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan are not in good form, they may bat at the top order and KL Rahul may play for the team as an opener along with Murali Vijay. The skipper Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane may bat at the middle-order. There are no signs of including Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant in this test match.
Though England seems the strongest team, there is less number of consistent players like Joe Root and Alistair Cook when it comes to the red-ball cricket. Finding the right partner for Alistair Cook at the opening spot is a herculean task for the hosts. The pace bowling department is the additional asset for them besides home advantage. The pace bowlers like Stuart Board, James Anderson, and Sam Curran will take care of the pace bowling department and the spinners for this game are Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali when the team needs to include five bowlers.
Since the Edgbaston ground is less bouncy, the pitch may favor the batsmen and the English have a good record at Edgbaston in the recent past.
KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli(captain), Hardik Pandya, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin/ Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami.
Joe Root(captain), Alistair Cook, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, David Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Keaton Jennings, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Stuart Board, and James Anderson.