3 takeaways for Team India from the recently concluded England-Pakistan Test series
The much awaited India’s tour of England is just less than a month away. The tour will start with 3 T20Is followed by 3 ODIs ending in mid-July. The Test series will kick off from August 1st, with Edgbaston as the venue for the 1st of the 5 Test match series.
Already there is huge anticipation and excitement among the Indian cricket fans as this will be Team India’s first overseas tour followed by many leading into the 2019 Cricket World Cup, that would be held in England.
Virat Kohli and his men lost the Test series in South Africa 2-1, but the fight shown by the team in all the 3 Test matches drew applause from the critics. Team India had a forgettable 2014 Test series in England losing the Test series 3-1 under the leadership of M.S Dhoni, but with a much stronger batting and bowling department, one would hope for a better result for Team India this time around.
On the other hand, the England team is in red-hot form beating a formidable Pakistan team in the second Test at Leeds. Despite losing the 1st Test at Lords, England made a remarkable comeback and won the 2nd Test quite convincingly within 3 days at Headingley. The series was tied 1-1.
This was a competitive series between both the teams, while Pakistan’s bowling attack stood up to the occasion that won them the 1st Test, similarly, England’s bowlers made most of the conditions on Day 1 in the 2nd Test that set the game up for them.
The Indian think-tank would have noticed a thing or two from this series that could help them achieve the much-needed success in England.
Here are few takeaways for the Indian team from the recently concluded England vs Pakistan Test series.
Need to get rid of the openers early
We all know that Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss were considered to be one of the best Test openers England have ever produced. But ever since Strauss retired from Test cricket England have tried and tested more than 10 new openers alongside Alistair Cook but none of them could replicate the success of Andrew Strauss and partner Cook for a considerable period of time.
Here's list of openers that partnered Alistair Cook, post the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012:
Nick Compton - 2012-13 season
Joe Root - 2013 season
Michael Carberry - 2013-14 season
Sam Robson - 2014 season
Jonathan Trot - 2015 season
Adam Lyth - 2015 season
Moeen Ali - 2015-16 season
Alex Hales - 2016 season
Ben Duckett - 2016 season
Haseeb Hameed - 2016 season
Keaton Jennings - 2016 - Current
Mark Stoneman - 2017 - Current
As many as 12 combinations were seen over the past 6 years and the opening slot is still an on-going concern for the England team. Also, stats show that the England openers could manage only one 50 run partnership in the last 13 innings.
England had Mark Stoneman as partner for Alistair Cook in the 1st Test against Pakistan. Stoneman's failure in the 1st Test prompted a change and Keaton Jennings was roped in for the 2nd Test to partner Alistair Cook.
Henceforth, it will be extremely crucial for the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah or Ishant Sharma to get the initial breakthroughs that would dent the opposition.
Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma would hit the deck hard and with pace and bounce they could be lethal and can cause trouble to the England batsmen.
However, Bhuvneswar Kumar would be the key as he can swing the ball both ways and if he can get through the top order just like he did in South Africa, it would dent the confidence of England’s team and would put India’s position in driving seat.