3 tactics India might use to conquer tests in England
Test matches in England have always been a nightmare for subcontinent teams and India is no exception to that. Although India has thrice managed to win a test series in England, they have won just one out of their last 9 test matches there.
The last series win came in 2007 when an unusual opening pair of Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffer gave good starts on a consistent basis. The middle order comprising of Dravid, Sachin and Ganguly also stayed true to their reputation. VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni also played some savior innings and India managed to get 56 wickets in 3 tests, bowling under the leadership of Player of the Series- Zaheer Khan.
This time around, India again has a very settled test squad. Most players have had a good amount of exposure of playing in the English conditions and there is an intense competition between the players to get into the playing eleven. With Virat Kohli's captaincy, one thing that can be expected is surprising experiments and "Horses for Courses" selections. Here are some of the tactics India might employ to come good against the English test team.
#1. Playing with 3 openers
Swinging ball has been India's prime weakness and England's key weapon. James Anderson and Stuart Broad are undisputed experts of swing and in a favorable English condition, they can wreak havoc upon any side.
India's major concern would be Pujara's poor form as he failed to make an impact during his recent stint in the English county cricket. His record overseas does not justify his stature.
On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan is the kind of player India must have in the playing eleven. He is someone who can play aggressively and turn the tides within an hour into a test match. He is in good form, with a good ODI record in England. This time around, he would like to perform well in the test matches also.
India obviously cannot leave out their best openers- Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. In this scenario, India might opt for 3 openers in the squad, with Rahul batting at 3. In such a case, either Pandya or Pujara will have to sit out, but this would protect the middle order from a brand new Duke ball.