England tour of India 2021 [Preview]
England is scheduled to tour India in the month of February and March to play four Test matches, five T20Is and three ODIs. The visitors have shown excellent form in red-ball cricket and recently completed their second consecutive whitewash against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
For India, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja are ruled out of the four-match Test series against England due to injuries sustained during tour of Australia last month.
Captain Virat Kohli is back again and will lead the side for the four-match Test series. Uncapped bowling all-rounder Axar Patel has been named in the Test squad for the home series. Pacer Ishant Sharma, off-spinner Ravi Ashwin and Rishabh Pant have fully recovered from injuries.
On the other hand, England have announced their 16-man squad for the first two matches of the Test series against India. All-rounder Ben Stokes, pacer Jofra Archer and opener Rory Burns are back into the Test squad, while Jonny Bairstow has been dropped from the setup.
James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Olly Stone and Jofra Archer are pace options for England for this Test series, whereas Moeen Ali, Jack Leach and Dominic Bess are prominent spin options for this four-match series.
The return of Virat Kohli will certainly bolster the batting resources for India for the coming series.
In the batting department, the onus will be on the experienced middle-order trio of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to make notable scores in this Test series.
Rookie opener Shubnam Gill delivered excellent performances in his debut series in Australia. In three matches played, Shubnam accumulated 259 runs at an average of 51.80 with two half-centuries to his name.
Mayank Agarwal is expected to be slotted into the middle-order for the Test series as Hanuma Vihari is sidelined due to injury.
In the bowling department, the onus will be on the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj and Shardul Thakur to make crucial breakthroughs in this series. Ishant Sharma is another experienced pacer picked for the series.
Ravi Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel are the three spinners picked by India for the first two matches of the Test series. Lokesh Rahul and Wriddhiman Saha are reserve wicket-keeping options for India for the first two games against England.
On the other hand, England will be relying on their experienced players to deliver the goods with bat and ball.
In the batting department, the onus will be on the likes of in-form captain Joe Root, all-rounder Ben Stokes and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler to deliver the bulk of the runs.
Since September 2019, England Captain Joe Root has rediscovered his form in the five-day format and topped the batting charts for the side. In 13 Test matches played, Joe Root has accumulated 1206 runs at an average of 60.30, which includes three centuries and four half-centuries.
The inexperienced players like Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley will face tough challenge as pitches will be expected to spin from the Day 1 of the Test match.
In the bowling department, the onus will on the likes of Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Stuart Broad to make crucial breakthroughs. Dominic Bess, Moeen Ali and Jack Leach will be given the responsibility to pick up key wickets in the middle phase of the innings.
The first two Test matches will be played at M.Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from 5th to 9th February and 13th to 17th February respectively. The third and four Test matches will be played at Motera Stadium in Ahmadabad from 24th to 28th February and 4th to 8th March respectively.
After the conclusion of the Test series, India will play five T20Is against England. All the matches will be played at Motera Stadium in Ahmadabad on 12th, 14th, 16th , 18th and 20th March respectively.
After culmination of five T20Is, three-match one-day series will be played between India and England. All the three matches will be played at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on 23rd, 26th and 28th March respectively.`