Image tweeted by BCCI. Source
Both England and India face a stern test when they take on during the first test match at Birmingham.
The leg of limited-overs has been done. While India took away the t20 series, England comfortably won the ODI series. All the attention now shifts to test match cricket. Even before the start of the first test match already a lot of buzz has been created.
Adil Rashid has been the center of debates which have been going for several days now. The prime reason behind this is the fact that he had already decided to quit red-ball cricket earlier. Although this has brought to what you can say as "mixed opinions" by several pundits. Also James Anderson was critical on Virat Kohli saying he(Virat) would be lying if his runs don't matter to him.
Coming back, one would definitely like to look at India's previous tours to England in 2011 and 2014. The visitors were whitewashed in 2011 and lost by 3-1 during 2014 tour. With their solitary win coming at Lord's.
There has been a lot of talk on current heatwave in England. But there were showers two days before the first test which may be sigh of relief for the hosts. Had it been drier which is not expected, India might have started as favorites considering they have Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in their armory.
Talking from teams perspective, India would love to see Shikhar Dhawan back in form. He wasn't even able to open his account during the 2 innings against Essex in a practice match. Pujara also doesn't seem to be in a good touch given his poor county stint. They are without their prime swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah who bowled significantly well during the South Africa tour. In their absence, the pace attack would be led by Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma.
England have got their own issues. Adil Rashid inclusion has brought some heavy criticism from pundits. Jos buttler has been named as the vice-captain just after recently playing two tests against Pakistan.They are yet to find the opening partner for Alastair Cook. But on a positive note, Cook showed signs of good form after scoring 180 against India A.
India team news: KL Rahul might be seen playing with Murali Vijay ahead of Shikhar Dhawan. If they decide to go in with a lone spinner, Ashwin is likely to fill in that slot. Then obviously Mohammad Shami would play alongside Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav as pacers.
Predicted eleven: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(C), Ajinkya Rahane(VC), Dinesh Karthik(WK),Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav.
England team news: England have already announced starting eleven with Sam Curran playing ahed of Jamie Porter. Adil Rashid is a lone spinner as a result Moeen Ali has been left out.
Starting eleven for England as per root: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root(C), Dawid Malan, Johnny Bairstow(WK), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(VC), Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Date and Time: 1st August, 15:30 IST, 11 AM Local time
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham.
What's your take on the first test match?? Do let me know in the comments below.