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England v India: Players to Watch in the Test Series

Both Joe Root and Virat Kohli’s men lost their previous Tests to New Zealand, with India losing the all-important Test Championship final.

England India Betting

England take on India in the first Test of the five-match series at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Wednesday. This series promises the kind of high-octane action you need to start the new ICC World Test Championship cycle. Both Joe Root and Virat Kohli’s men lost their previous Tests to New Zealand, with India losing the all-important Test Championship final. The last time these two teams locked horns in a Test series, India won the series 3-1.

We take a look at the players to watch for the first test.

England Squad

Joe Root (Captain), Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Jos Buttler (Wicket-Keeper), Mark Wood, Sam Curran, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (Wicket-Keeper), Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Craig Overton

India Squad

Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (Wicket-Keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (Wicket-Keeper), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw

Players to Watch

Joe Root

The home team suffered a major blow recently as Ben Stokes pulled out of the series citing mental health reasons. This will put more pressure on England’s captain and talisman, Joe Root to perform with the bat. He has a fantastic record against India on home soil averaging 59.78.

Root scored a fantastic double century (218) in the first test of the previous series between the two sides. He’ll be looking for another great start to the series and lead his side to an important series win.

Rory Burns

When you look at the English batsmen’s Test averages, Rory Burns is second behind Joe Root with an average of 33.23. This will also put pressure on the opener with batsmen like Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope not in the best of form. He’ll be coming into this series full of confidence after scoring 132 & 81 in the first innings of both tests against New Zealand.

Ollie Robinson

After discriminatory posts from 2012 and 2013 were revealed, Robinson was given an eight-game ban by an independent panel, five of which were suspended and the other three now served. He returned match figures of 7-101 and scored 42 in his only innings against the Kiwis on debut.

He’s played 65 first-class matches taking 290 wickets at an average of 21.02. Robinson will be eager to put behind the recent controversy surrounding his discriminatory posts and focus on doing all his talking on the field.

Virat Kohli

Without an international century across all formats since November 2019, India’s captain Virat Kohli is in the worst form of his career. In eight tests since the beginning of 2020, Kohli has made just 345 runs at an average of 24.64. Despite his poor run of form, you’d certainly back a player who averages over fifty in all three formats to get back to his very best.

Rishab Pant

Indian cricket fans will be hoping that Rishabh Pant has fully recovered from the aftermath of his COVID-19 infection. He’s a massive player for India in Test match cricket as he can take the game away from the opposition with his dynamic and aggressive approach. Pant has now scored three centuries and has an impressive average of 43.84 considering the fact that he usually bats with the lower order/all-rounders.

Ishant Sharma

The onus of leading the Indian bowling attack will fall on the duo of Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, who took 32 wickets between them in the 2018 tour of England. Sharma usually excels in foreign conditions as he took 18 of the 32 wickets between him and Bumrah.

He has taken 199 wickets from 60 Tests away from home and is only behind Anil Kumble (269), Kapil (215), and Zaheer (207) for most wickets by an Indian bowler away from home. Ishant also needs nine more scalps to leapfrog Zaheer Khan (311) and become India’s second-most successful pacer in Tests. His performances with the ball will be one of the key factors if India are to win the series.

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