India Name Strong Squad For First Two Tests Against England Starting February 5
India enjoyed great success during their four test tour of Australia and came back victorious with a 2-1 series victory. India’s test players suffered numerous injuries during their tour of Australia and had to field a very weak team in the third and fourth tests. Even with a weak team, stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane led them to victory.
India Take On England At Home
India have enjoyed the success of their overseas test victory and will now have the advantage of playing at home when they take on England in a four match test series. The first two tests will take place in Chennai and the final two tests will take place in Ahmedabad. The third test at Ahmedabad will be a day/night test.
The BCCI decided that given the COVID-19 pandemic to restrict the travel of the players and stick to just two venues. Hosting four test matches in just two venues also makes it easy for the BCCI to create a secure bio-bubble and keep players and support staff safe.
The first two tests in Chennai will take place without any fans as India is yet to get the COVID-19 situation under control. One of the advantages of playing at home is being able to play in front of home crowds. India will not have this advantage but they will be happy with the fact that they will be playing at nearly full strength.
Virat Kohli Will Captain India
Virat Kohli who played only the first test in Australia is back in the side and will once again captain the side. Kohli left after the first test in Australia to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. In his absence, A Rahane captained the side and did a fantastic job that received praise from cricketing pundits all over the world.
Former England captain Michael Vaughn said that the BCCI should think about playing Kohli only as a batsman in test cricket and let Rahane continue to captain the side. However, the BCCI isn’t paying any attention to Vaughn and has given Kohli back the captaincy with Rahane as his deputy once again.
India showed in Australia that they can win even without their best batsman and captain Virat Kohli. While Kohli will be proud of what India achieved without his presence, he will definitely want to make some big runs this series and look at a 4-0 whitewash.
India Name Strong Squad For First Two Tests
Virat Kohli will be happy to see that most of the injured players in Australia have recovered and have been named in the 18 man squad for the first two tests. The selectors have also named a few players who did not play in Australia.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are likely to open in the first two tests. C Pujara will take his usual spot at three and Kohli will come in at four. Rahane who was batting higher up the order in Australia will go down to number 5 and H Pandya is likely to take the number six slot as the all-rounder. Pandya’s presence brings a lot of balance to the squad.
R Pant will play at number seven and the four bowlers for the first test are likely to be R Ashwin and A Patel (since R Jadeja is yet to recover) as the spinners. The two pacers will be J Bumrah and the experienced I Sharma.
Some of the other players in the squad include W Sundar, S Thakur, K Yadav, KL Rahul, M Agarwal and M Siraj. W Saha has also been picked as the back-up keeper. If you would like to bet on the test series, go to 22Bet.