England vs India 2018: Players to watch out for during the Test series

Kohli vs Anderson is going to be a good battle
Kohli vs Anderson is going to be a good battle
Kartik Tandon

The highly anticipated Test series between the No. 1 ranked team India and No. 5 ranked team England will face each other in a five-match series starting from 1st August at Edgbaston.

England would be high on confidence as they beat India 2-1 during the ODI series. Also, their key player Joe Root has found formed after hitting back to back centuries against India.

Last time, these two teams met in 2014, England defeated India 3-1 where MS Dhoni was the captain. Murali Vijay and Joe Root were the leading run makers and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and James Anderson were the top bowlers.

In both teams, there are players who can change the course of the game with their batting, bowling or all-round abilities.

#1 KL Rahul

Kl has a best 199 against England in test matches
Rahul's highest score in test matches came up against England

KL Rahul will play a key role in India’s Test series against England. In India’s T20I series over England, Rahul came at No. 3 and scored a century in the first T20I at Old Trafford.

He played first two ODI's and didn't do much. Rakul remained unbeaten on nine in the first ODI and went for a duck in the second. Rahul last played a Test match in June against Afghanistan.

Rahul has played 24 Tests and averages well over 40. Also has four hundreds to his name. Last time England visited India in 2016, Rahul scored 233 runs with the best of 199.

But there will be a discussion on where Rahul should bat. If Dhawan and Vijay open the team then Rahul might bat down the order.

If Rahul continues to play he is doing, then India can beat England with ease and the five-match Test series.

#2 Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler has been in incredible form
Jos Buttler has been in incredible form

Jos Buttler is one of the best finishers in ODI cricket at the present moment. Coming lower down the order, the right-handed batsman can change the course of the game with his power hitting.

And he has been in tremendous form as of late. He recently got recalled in the Test side for a two-match series against Pakistan.

Buttler has played 20 test matches and has scored 945 runs with the best of 85. Buttler scored 161 runs in three innings against Pakistan.

If England is to win the Test series against India, Buttler needs to play a key role by playing positive cricket and help hosts to put pressure on the under pressure Indian side.

#3 Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav has been unstoppable when given the ball
Kuldeep Yadav has been unstoppable when given the ball

Kuldeep Yadav has been the star for Indian bowling line up since the 2017 Champions Trophy finals defeat against Pakistan.

The left arm chinaman is picking up wickets everywhere he goes. Kuldeep has been very dominant in the white ball cricket. But it's time to prove his worth in the Test matches as well.

In the first T20I match against England played at Old Trafford, Kuldeep registered his best T20I figures of 5/24 and helped India win the match. Same during the first ODI, he picked up his maiden six-wicket haul and sealed a victory for his nation.

Kuldeep has played two test matches and has picked up nine wickets. It'll be interesting to see how the English batters play him.

#4 James Anderson

James Anderson has troubled Virat Kohli a lot
James Anderson has troubled Virat Kohli a lot

The 35-year-old has 540 wickets in 138 Tests. With the five-match Test series due to start against India in August, England's all-time leading wicket-taker will be looking to prove his fitness ahead of the series.

Anderson has not played since the second Test victory over Pakistan on June 3.

Anderson will be 36 when the five-Test series against India begins, Broad 32, and England has to allow for the possibility of their not being around next summer for the Ashes.

Anderson has struggled with the shoulder injury over the past two years and acknowledged after England squared the two-Test series with Pakistan in which he took nine wickets at an average of 19.11. He needed to rest it, with the India matches coming thick and fast.

#5 Joe Root

Root will lead the England Test side
Root will lead the England Test side

England’s Test captain is back in the runs, coming in at No. 3 against India in the last two ODIs and batting through the innings to make an unbeaten and match-winning century. Can he now do the same in Test matches - after making 13 fifties but only one century in his last 15 Tests? Of course, he can.

Root's low conversion rate in Test matches has long been a talking point surrounding the England star and one of the reasons his career record is one rung below those of batting contemporaries Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson.

The right-hander has previously expressed his frustration at the trend and acknowledges that turning half-centuries into three-figure scores can often be the difference between winning and losing Test matches.

#6 Cheteshwar Pujara

Pujara will look to find form during the test series
Pujara will look to find form during the test series

To be successful overseas, Pujara has to do to pacers what he does to spinners on the subcontinent.

His strategy in India succeeds due to the conditions thwarting the incisiveness of pace, and the subsequent inevitable introduction of spinners, but that may never happen in an innings in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia.

Pujara has scored a measly 172 runs in 12 innings for Yorkshire this season. While his team has played on treacherous pitches, collapsing often, such a form leading up to a five-Test foray in England does not bode well for him.

The 30-year-old has played 57 test matches and averages well over 50. He will be looking to have a good series after the disappointment last time around.

#7 Virat Kohli

Kohli has scored 6 double hundreds over the last 18 months
Kohli has scored six double hundreds over the last 18 months

Kohli has played 10 test matches in England and has scored 134 runs at an average of 13.44 with the best score of 39.

Take for instance the competition between James Anderson and Virat Kohli. They have locked horns on a cricket ground on a number of occasions and with upcoming India's tour of England, the clash of skills is back on.

It was not only Anderson who kept Virat troubled. It was fast bowling in general that Virat faced difficult to comprehend, which is strange considering the fact that he is particularly good against pacers. Stuart Broad and Liam Plunkett bowled efficiently on their home pitches.

Over the course of time, Kohli has brushed up his batting technique and skills to a whole new level.

He is a much better batsman now and has matured as a cricketer. We have seen a better balance in his batting and well as in his captaincy. He continues to grow as a cricketer and his dedication is very inspiring.

Edited by Alan John
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