Squad Preview: England’s Tour of India

The five-member selection committee chose the 15-member Indian test squad for the upcoming first two of five test matches against Alastair Cook’s England. This will be England’s first tour to India after 2012, a series they won 2-1, one of the rare home defeats for an Indian test team at home in the last decade. 
The first match will be played in Rajkot, Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara’s home ground. 
The squad:
Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, R. Ashwin, R. Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Gautam Gambhir, Mohammad Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Karun Nair, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav
India vs England Test Cricket - BookMyShowNOTABLE OMISSIONS:
The team isn’t exactly going in with its best-possible batting line-up against the Englishmen. Their line-up against New Zealand was perhaps the most balanced – but Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan (who wouldn’t have been selected in the first XI anyway) aren’t part of the squad. This is a huge blow, especially given Rohit’s consistent performance in the tests against New Zealand, and Rahul’s form over the last year. All three of them are injured, and Rohit may reportedly undergo surgery for his hamstring injury during the 5th ODI against the Kiwis at Vizag. He lent stability and a buffer to the batting line-up at 6, which means that Hardik Pandya will almost certainly be picked for his test debut, and R. Ashwin will be given more responsibility with the bat. Saha’s good form will bolster a second-string middle order.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar wasn’t picked because he hadn’t played a first-class match after recovering from his injury. This silly technicality will mean that India misses perhaps their most adaptable bowler, and versatility in their pace line-up. But India’s spin line-up is perhaps all that matters – the best in years, what with Ashwin’s record-breaking madness, Jadeja’s pinpoint accuracy and Mishra’s guile and skill. The three put together will give nightmares to a brittle England line-up recently exposed by Bangladesh’s spinners in Dhaka. Jayant Yadav won’t get a game unless Ashwin or Jadeja gets injured, and Yadav is likely to partner Shami in the seam department in the first match, irrespective of Ishant Sharma’s fitness. Now that Pandya has been given the nod (especially for his pace), it will be five batsmen, 1 seaming all-rounder, 1 keeper, 2 spinners (both can bat) and 2 frontline seamers. That’s the balance Kohli is likely to go in for – a forced strategy because of Rohit’s injury, which will fast-track Pandya’s all-round abilities to the fore in the longest form of the game.
India will have wanted KL Rahul at the top, but it will now be old warhorse Gautam Gambhir, who retained his spot after a spunky performance against the Kiwis in the third test, and Murali Vijay opening the batting. There will be no change in the top order. Karun Nair has been chosen as the extra batsman, just in case Pandya performs terribly and gets dropped, and if Kohli has to revert back to his 6-batsman strategy. 
Likely 11 for RAJKOT:
Vijay, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Pandya, Saha, Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami, Yadav/Mishra
Mishra may not get the nod despite some terrific performances, unless Kohli decides to go in with just one frontline pacer (Shami), Pandya and three spinners to boot. A likely scenario, this, given England’s recent history against spin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− seven = 2

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

More in Cricket

  • Gujarat’s Ranji Trophy Fairytale

    A month ago, I stood in one of Ahmedabad’s famous optician stores. I observed the customers as I waited for a...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 17, 2017
  • Chinks in India’s ODI Armour

    India v/s England, ODI series Result: India win first game to lead 1-0 in 3-match series   It ended up becoming...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 16, 2017
  • Preview: India v/s England, ODI series

    India played only seven ODIs in 2016, and so ex-captain M.S. Dhoni (takes a while to get used to this term) always...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 11, 2017
  • Ranji Trophy: A Shaw-shot Superstar

    A precocious 13-year-old pint-sized boy holds a bat far too large for him. In fact, his helmet and pads make him...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 10, 2017
  • Redialling MS Dhoni, The Finisher

    In 2008, on the final day of the fourth and final Test match of the series between India and Australia in...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 5, 2017
  • Five Important Cricketing Events In 2017

    As of now, two depressingly one-sided tours are underway: Pakistan’s tour of Australia, and Sri Lanka’s tour of South Africa. Both...

    Rahul DesaiJanuary 4, 2017
  • 2016: A Year in Test Cricket

    A few hours ago, Pakistan did a Pakistan, only days after almost chasing down the highest ever Test score against Australia....

    Rahul DesaiDecember 30, 2016
  • Karun Nair: The Everyday Hero

    5th test, India v/s England, Chennai From the top tier of the Northern Stand at the Wankhede stadium last week, in...

    Rahul DesaiDecember 20, 2016
  • The Pakistan We Love 

    1st test, Gabba, Australia v/s Pakistan You start the test match having lost three tests in a row. You were no....

    Rahul DesaiDecember 19, 2016

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2016 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved