The phase of white ball cricket in India's tour of England has been done and dusted and it's back to the purest form of cricket once again. The cricket fanatics in India must be anxiously waiting to see their guys in action, in whites this time and in those heritage-filled grounds in the ‘home of cricket’.
The recently concluded ODI series did raise some questions on India’s batting. Also, the English batsmen seemed to have come to terms with the guile and deception of the Indian spinners, notably, Kuldeep Yadav.
But, we need to keep in mind that Test Cricket is a different ball-game altogether and it's not called a ‘Test ‘without any concrete reason! We certainly think India just have it in them to beat England in England in Tests this time.
India has a much better chance this time around, simply because of the following reasons:
A definite advantage to the Indian spinners
We have to keep in mind that India will be facing England in the second half of the English summer and hence, the wickets are expected to be comparatively dryer and slower, as compared to earlier tours. This time, the conditions are expected to be more ‘Indian’ than ‘English’. We have seen the glimpses of the wear and tear of the English pitches in the recently-concluded one-dayers. So, we can trust the experienced Indian spinners to take advantage of this wear and tear of the ‘tired’ English pitches.
India may even look to play three spinners to add to the miseries of the English batsmen, by slotting Ashwin at the number 7 position and playing both Kuldeep and Jadeja in the XI. As Virat puts more value on current form, Kuldeep is expected to be in the eleven for the first test and at least 4 of the top 7 English batsmen are yet to face him in red-ball cricket.
It’s also a no-brainer to gauge which side has the better spin attack to its credential. Moeen Ali had a horrible Ashes and Adil Rashid has left red-ball cricket for a better white-ball career. Dom Bess and Jack Leach are novices in the international arena and the Indian batsmen are expected to negotiate them easily enough.