India vs England first Test preview and predicted playing XI
Hello everyone and welcome to Sportskeeda's preview of first test between India and England.
England avenged their 2-1 T20I series defeat with a 2-1 ODI series victory against India. With the limited-overs fixtures done and dusted, the two teams are now set to face each other in the longest format of the game in the first test at Edgbaston in Birmingham from Wednesday, August 1. This test will also make England the first team in cricket history to have played 1000 test matches.
The sides have played 117 tests against each other out of which 43 have been won by England, and 25 by the Indians with 49 having ended in draws, and the hosts have never lost a test match against India at Edgbaston.
India: India don't have too many happy memories in England when it comes to test cricket. They lost their previous Test series in England by 3-1 in July 2014. They have never been able to beat the English side in a test at this ground and they have lost five out of the six tests here.
With the bat, Shikhar Dhawan's and Cheteshwar Pujara's poor outing with the bat in the practice match against Essex is not a good sign for visitors. Though the performances of skipper Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik and KL Rahul who scored 68, 82 and 58 respectively could be a sign of relief for them.
With the ball, India will miss the services of their two first-choice seam bowlers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. In their absence, the Indian bowling attack will rely heavily on Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin is one of the highest wicket-takers for India with 316 wickets in 58 matches, while Ishant and Yadav will be backed to provide the early breakthroughs with the new ball. Kuldeep Yadav, who tormented the English lineup with 5/24 and 6/25 at Old Trafford and Nottingham respectively, is expected to trouble the English batsmen in tests as well.
Predicted Playing XI: Virat Kohli (C), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya or Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara.
England: They hosted their previous test series two months ago against Pakistan. It was a two-match series which the hosts managed to level in the end after going down in the first encounter. England have not been doing too well in red-ball cricket of late, and they won just one of their past nine test matches. But the fact that they haven't lost any home series in this format since July 2014 can't be denied.
With the bat, Alastair Cook is the leading run-getter for England in tests and he has also scored the most runs at Edgbaston in this format. The former skipper also scored 180 runs off 268 balls in an unofficial four-day test against touring India-A in Worcester and the team will look for him to repeat that.
Joe Root seems to have picked up form ahead of the series with back-to-back hundreds in the last two ODIs while Jos Buttler is someone who has been in phenomenal white-ball form with 8 half centuries in just 20 games, and both batsmen could really make the Indian bowlers toil hard in the field.
With the ball, James Anderson is the leading test wicket-taker for the side and he has also taken 40 test wickets in nine test matches for his side at Edgbaston, while his bowling partner Stuart Broad will be the skipper's next best bet to rattle India's top-order.
Expected Playing XI: Joe Root (C), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Adil Rashid, James Anderson, Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings.