England vs. India Test Preview: A Brave New World

The starving wait for Test cricket in England is nearly over. The period in between has been rife with controversy. I actually would include the whole summer. Joe Root has announced the team for the first Test Match. The selection of Adil Rashid into the squad was controversial. I do not know how much more will be made of the team that will play. We are looking at the following team and the points they have scored on my index.

1) Alastair Cook – 201

2) Keaton Jennings – 68

3) Joe Root- 201

4) Dawid Malan: 91

5) Ben Stokes: 143

6) Jonny Baristow: 84

7) Jos Buttler: 287

8) Sam Curran: 94

9) Adil Rashid: 0

10) Stuart Broad: 68

11) James Anderson: 147

With all of the hype and the sunshine, there was always the possibility of seeing Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid play in the same test match. England has gone back to their tried and tested combination of one spinner, three quicks and Ben Stokes. I must admit that I am slightly sad that Moeen Ali is not playing but you can clearly see the reasoning behind the chosen XI by looking at George Dobell’s pitch report. I would be bold enough to argue that the biggest surprise on this side is not the dropping of Moeen Ali but the inclusion of Curran over Porter. The choice of Buttler as Vice-Captain has also irked people.

India has not yet announced their playing XI. The general consensus is that it will be the following:

1) Murali Vijay: 245

2) K.L. Rahul: 123

3) Cheteshwar Pujara: 70

4) Virat Kohli: 0

5) Ajinkya Rahane: 30

6) Dinesh Karthik: 38

7) Hardik Pandya: 172

8) R. Ashwin: 178

9) Kuldeep Yadav: 0

10) Ishant Sharma: 153

11) Umesh Yadav: 211

There is a debate whether Rahul or Dhawan should open. On current form in England Rahul should open. That being said Dhawan is one innings away from opening a floodgate of runs. In a five-Test series, he could potentially be lethal. I would actually entertain the idea of having Dhawan at 2 and Rahul at 3. This would, of course, leaving Pujara out.

As things stand India is in front of England in my index.

If the above teams are taken then England will start off with 1,384 and India with 1,220. If Dhawan pips Rahul then India will start at 1,366. This five test series will be interesting. India will continue to hold first place in the ICC ranking even if they lose 5-0. My rankings will change significantly.

At the start of the series, my playing XI is listed below. I cannot add people who have not played any games on the list.

1) Shikar Dhawan

2) Murali Vijay

3) Lokesh Rahul

4) Joe Root (Captain)

5) Jonny Bairstow (WK)

6) Ben Stokes

7) Jos Buttler

8) Ravichandran Ashwin

9) Ravindra Jadeja

10) Umesh Yadav

11) James Anderson

I will be updating my main Test Index at the end of every match. I will be updating the England India index at the end of every innings. Looking forward to your comments.

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