IND vs ENG 2021: 3 areas India will look to improve ahead of the Test series


The opening partnership is crucial in any format of the game as it sets the platform for other batsmen to follow. However, since July 2019, Team India have recorded only four 50-plus opening stands in Test cricket.

Opening partnership


Among those 50-plus opening stands include the monumental 317-run partnership between Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal against South Africa at Visakhapatnam. India’s tally of four is the least among the top Test playing nations, with England (five), Australia (five) New Zealand (eight), all possessing a better record than the Men in Blue.

Interestingly, since July 2018, India have lost their first wicket under 50 runs on 26 occasions - joint second-most among all the Test playing nations in the world. With a world-class England pace attack and tough batting conditions to follow, Team India will expect more resilience from their top order.

Contributions made by lower-order batsmen have often turned out to be vital in deciding the outcome of a match. As a result, teams try and devise strategies to quickly roll over the opposition lower order.

Wiping off the tail


However, over the last few years, India have had a dismal record of bowling out lower-order batsmen, an issue which even led to their downfall in the WTC final against New Zealand. Since July 2018, opposition teams’ final three wickets have added 50 or more runs against India on nine different occasions.

Only West Indies and England have a worse record than India in this regard. India’s inability to run through opposition tailenders has been their Achilles' heel. For Virat Kohli and his men to win the upcoming series, they will need to better their record against the tailenders.

Another area that has pegged India over the years has been the batting performance of their lower order. India’s bottom three have made very little contribution with the bat compared to other top Test teams in the world.

Lower order contributions


Since July 2019, India’s last three batters have crossed the 25-run mark in only three instances, a record they will look to better as the number two Test side in the world.

Runs from India's tail are the third lowest among all the Test playing nations, with only Bangladesh (1) and Zimbabwe (2) faring poorer than the Men in Blue. Team India will need their tail to wag in England if they hope to overcome the might of the home side.