Arguably, the most anticipated of all four Test series which is scheduled for this home season could very well be the one against England. The English have had the wood over India for the last few years or so with the 2012 series victory away from home remaining the crowning point of their recent performances in the longest format.
However, India under Virat Kohli are growing from strength to strength and will be eager to stamp their authority over Alastair Cook’s visiting side when the 5-match series begins at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot from November 9th. While the focus should understandably be on the Indian spinners as well as the England top-order, there are quite a few players who could play a key role in influencing the series.
Let us take a look at five such cricketers who may turn out to be surprise factors and shine despite being away from the limelight.
#5 Hardik Pandya
When India named their 15-man squad for the first two Tests, one name caught everyone by surprise. Despite not having enough first-class experience, all-rounder Hardik Pandya received his maiden Test call-up. The prime reason for his selection could be aimed towards providing Kohli with a second seam option without compromising on the batting depth.
After climbing up the echelons through the shortest format, Pandya made his ODI debut against New Zealand at Dharamsala and impressed by bowling at a considerable pace.
If India decides to go in with five bowlers, he could get an opportunity to prove his detractors wrong by contributing in both departments of the game.