India-England five-match Test series begins Wednesday

By Aaditya Anand M Published on Jul 31, 2018 02:43 PM IST

Chennai: After the limited overs leg, the challenging five-match Test series between India and England starts tomorrow at Edgbaston.

India, despite being a dominant force in the world under the leadership of Virat Kohli, goes into the Test series desperately in need of a Test series victory in England that had eluded them for nearly a decade now.

England, on the other hand, under the leadership of Joseph Root, would try to hide the scars of a innings defeat to Pakistan recently.

With the schedule jam-packed, England have already discussed the likelihood of their talismanic pace bowling duo, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, being rotated out to maximise their capabilities.

Both senior bowlers return to the squad after a long injury lay-off and it remains to be seen whether they could be as lethal as they were before.

England faces problems with injuries to Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Toby Roland-Joes. They have roped in newcomer Jamie Porter to hit the ground running and if, as expected, he makes his Test debut at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Despite the minor concerns about injuries, England will still surely feel fairly confident. It is, however, in the spin bowling department that they face problem which have also become a controversy after Adil Rashid's selection.

Rashid hasn't played red-ball cricket since September 2017 and his selection is a brave call by Ed Smith, the chief selector.

However, it also shows that England does not have a genuine spinner who can be considered for selection at the Test level.

Rashid has impressed over the past few months with the white ball and it remains to be seen how he performs with the red ball in the series.

India pace bowling attack is currently looking weak without Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. But, with the likes of Ishant Sharma spending some quality time in county cricket and Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami who have experience on their side, it looks like the Indian pace bowling would fare well this series.

SPINNERS

When it comes to spinners, there will be a selection dilemma. With Kuldeep Yadav drafted into the team, either Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja, both confined to Test cricket of late, will have to make way for Kuldeep who had tasted success, bamboozling the English batsmen in the recently concluded limited over series.

Both captains are also very desperate to make runs. Root, who had showed form in the recent ODI series, is desperate to get back among the runs in Test cricket and Virat Kohli will be raring to go in England after his failure in the country four years ago.

As usual, the coach-captain duo of Kohli and Ravi Shastri would want the team to play aggressive cricket as witnessed during the Test series in South Africa.

With England playing its 1,000th Test match, the series is seen as an important one for both teams.