After 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs the series stays leveled at 1-1. India have announced a 18 man squad for the first 3 Tests and England on the other hand have selected only 13 players to pick from for the first Test.
News from the Indian Camp:
With 18 players in the squad, there will be a huge headache for the selectors to select the playing XI in the first test. The first question would be the combination of openers who will face the swinging Dukes ball in the English conditions.
Shikhar Dhawan’s average of 20.33 in Tests in England and a pair in the recently concluded warm-up game against Essex might tempt the selectors to give the nod to Murali Vijay (with a proven Test record in foreign conditions) and KL Rahul (scored runs in the warm-up against Essex and a phenomenal IPL season).
With Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, the middle order looks pretty much set to face the challenging English conditions. Our Skipper, Dinesh Karthik would look to continue his fine form from IPL and seal his spot in the Indian Test squad after an injury to Wriddhiman Saha.
With Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar unavailable for selection for the first match, India would have to select their fast bowlers from Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. But the big question would be how many pacers does Team India play?
Team India lack nothing in the spin department with Ravichandran Ashwin; a right arm off-spinner, Ravindra Jadeja; a slow left arm orthodox bowler and our Knight; a left arm Chinaman bowler.
Indian squad for the first 3 Tests : Virat Kohli(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami
From the English camp:
England Cricket Board has surprised quite a few with the return of Adil Rashid and Jos Buttler along with the maiden Test Call up for James Porter. Keaton Jennings will pair up with the veteran Alastair Cook after ECB announced their playing XI for the first Test.
England’s middle order looks stellar with the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan with the fire power at the end in the likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
England’s pace attack boasts of experience with the seasoned pair of Stuart Broad and James Anderson and 20-year old Sam Curran.
Adil Rashid will have the added responsibility as he’s the only spinner in the side. It will be his first Test match since December 2016.
England squad for the first Test:
Joe Root (C), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson,
With 3 spinners in the Indian squad and 2 in the English squad, it would be tempting to see what kind of pitches would the Test matches be played on. A scorned Team India after the ODI series defeat would look to show the prowess of the World No. 1 Test Side and Old Guards like Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Alastair Cook would make it challenging for the visitors.