English cricket team will aim to continue their winning momentum when Joe Root-led England will face Virat Kohli-led Indian side for the five-match Test series starting August 1. The opening match of the series will be played at Edgbaston.
So far, England tour has not been as good as the visitors have been expecting as after getting thrashed by 2-1 in the T20I series, the Eoin Morgan-led English side bounced back and registered two back-to-back victories to win the ODI series, which was also considered as the rehearsal for ICC 2019 World Cup.
Now that limited-overs leg is finished and longest format of the game is set to kick-start, let’s take a look at 5 players who can play the key role in English team:
1- Jos Buttler
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has been in exceptionally in good form. Though in his initials days, Jos Buttler was considered more of a limited-overs batsman, but he was recalled in the English squad after his exceptional performance in the 11th season of the Indian Premier League while playing for Rajasthan Royals.
After getting recalled, Buttler scored 161 runs in two-match Test series against Pakistan at an average of over 80 and there has been no looking back ever since. Normally, Jos Buttler plays down the order in England team and he is capable of providing stability to the innings even if the top-order flops.
2- Joe Root
English skipper Joe Root is our second pick, who can turn around England innings in the upcoming five-match Test series against India. Joe Root is the backbone of hosts batting line-ups and as he is the foundation of England’s batting.
So far, Joe Root has played 69 Test match for England and scored 5,960 runs with the help of 13 centuries and 40 fifties at an average of 52.28. And if he is red-hot form in the recently concluded three-match ODI series was anything to say, the visitors are in for a treat.
Meanwhile, the key battle between Joe Root and his counterpart Virat Kohli will also be an interesting one in the upcoming series. So far, Joe Root has won the battle against Kohli in terms of runs by a slim margin of 2 runs and 25 runs in T20I and ODI, respectively.
3- James Anderson
Star English pacer James Anderson is our next pick. And the battle between Virat Kohli and Anderson would also be an interesting one to watch as he had removed Indian skipper maximum times (four) back in 2014, during India’s England tour.
In fact, James Anderson was the wall that stopped Virat Kohli from scoring runs in England in 2014. However, it was four years ago and in that four years, Virat has developed into a world-class player.
James Anderson victimised 9 Pakistan batsmen in the recently concluded two-match Test series and before that, he had bagged 8 wickets after conceding just 200 runs in the New Zealand series. Needless to say that Jimmy will be England’s pace spearhead.
4- Adil Rashid
Adil Rashid is the most interesting as well controversial pick in England’s squad for the first Test. The last time Rashid had played the red ball international cricket was back in December 2016 against India at Chennai. He can be England’s trump card in the upcoming series.
Adil Rashid has played 10 international Test matches and bagged 38 wickets with an economy rate of 3.83. In the recently concluded ODI series against India, Rashid picked 6 wickets at an economy rate of under 5 runs per over. And if the way he stunned Indian skipper Virat Kohli with his bowling in the last game was any indicator, then his inclusion in the Test squad has increased visitors’ troubles.
5- Alister Cook
Alister Cook is the most experienced English player in the current England squad and the venue where India is set to play their opening match — Edgbaston — is his favourite hunting ground. Cook is the highest run-scorer at Edgbaston, he has scored 856 runs in 9 matches, his highest 294 has also come at the same ground against India in 2011.
So far, Alister Cook has played 25 Test matches against India and scored 2,104 runs with the help of 6 centuries and 8 fifties, at an average of 50. His highest score against visitors is 294. That’s why Alister Cook is the most lethal batsman for Indian bowlers and can play the key role for England in the upcoming series.