3 years after they were bruised and battered, the Indian team, which comprises a bunch of youngsters, is back in the celestial home of cricket with the aim of making the Indian fans forget the 0-4 whitewash of the team’s last tour here.
Be it Sachin Tendulkar in 1990, Sourav Ganguly in 1996, Rahul Dravid in 2002 or Zaheer Khan in 2007, every English tour has produced heroes. This time, it will be interesting to see who will get to that position when the players will battle for their greatest test till now.
But before that, it is the nation which comes and the team will try their best to improve the results from the last time. Both the teams are different, mentally, and it’s possibly a great chance for Indian team to improve MS Dhoni’s overseas record!
So as the 5-match test series commences at Nottingham on 9th July, let’s discuss the 5 talking points related to the upcoming India-England Test series.
New Hope in Batting Unit: –
With the batting unit having more youngsters this time, they will be fresh from the 2011 memories. Emerging youngsters like Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane will hope to continue their excellent form from their previous overseas tours of South Africa and New Zealand.
Still lot more work has to be done by the openers Shikar Dhawan and Murali Vijay. The left hander will be targeted with a barrage of short deliveries but he has to find a way of getting on with it. Gautam Gambhir has shown form in the recent tour match, so there’s a possibility that he will be selected in the playing XI. But still, you can’t expect anything when MS Dhoni is there. He may give a chance to Dhawan and Vijay in the 1st test.
Fresh Bowling Attack: –
The reason of India’s whitewash in 2011 was mainly because of its off colour bowling. This time, all hopes cling on the two bowlers who will spearhead the attack- Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
During the test series in New Zealand, the bowlers were fighting hard to get wickets. Here too, the Indian bowling will be a point of concern. Considering the English conditions, Stuart Binny has been taken in the squad. It will be an important moment for him when he will debut in test cricket on the greatest platform. Stuart Binny has performed well in the recent tour matches and if that brings him some confidence in the test series.
MS Dhoni, the Captain: –
Critics have taken a go at the Indian captain for his defensive mindset in overseas tours. To excel in these conditions, Dhoni has to change his way of thinking and come out with all guns blazing at the Englishmen who are currently on the lower side after their 0-1 series loss to the spirited Sri Lankans, few days back.
During the tours of South Africa and New Zealand, the Indian team was in a position of winning a test match but both times, victory didn’t reach India. Dhoni will have to convert those half chances if he wants his overseas record to improve.
It is the “overseas wins” column which doesn’t look satisfying in otherwise complete captaincy statistics of MS Dhoni. He has got many chances to improve that but this time, it’s perhaps the best one.
Shaky English Captain: –
Just like MS Dhoni can improve his overseas record, it seems as if the English captain’s batting record against India can diminish. Alaistar Cook is in his worst of forms from the past few months. He will be the target for the Indian bowlers as they will try to remove him as fast as possible, keeping in mind the threats he can impose on the “Indian” bowlers.
Cook’s form has been one of the reasons for Sri Lanka’s success as his dismissal gives an early breakthrough which paves in pressure for other batsmen.
Rahul Dravid, the Mentor! : –
Yes, you heard it right. Rahul Dravid is going to mentor the young Indian batting side during the 5-test series Vs England.
During the 2011 tour, the 300 run mark was crossed just once for India as it seemed next to impossible. But the only batsman who was tough to get dismissed was Rahul Dravid.
Indian batting side, barring a few, have faced a lot of problems in the overseas tour but this time we may see batting unit improving as an experienced member is the batting mentor. It will be great for the Indian batsmen to learn the master techniques from the Wall who imprinted his authority on every English tour.
Welcome 9th July and Indians will begin their battle against the Englishmen. We hope for a better contest this time but nothing will be more satisfying than winning the series in the country where they were whitewashed 3 years back.