Predicted India Test XI vs England: How Might The Hosts Line Up?

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The likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant make our predicted Indian test XI.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 18: Mohammed Siraj of India celebrates taking the wicket of Josh Hazlewood of Australia during day four of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 18, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

India’s team conundrum for Chennai

After a historic series victory in Australia, Team India is all set to take on England at home. India had announced their squad for the first two tests, which did not include some of the big names. So, what might the predicted India test XI be for Chennai?

Injuries have sidelined the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav. England, on the other hand, are coming from a 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka which will also help them adapt to Indian conditions.

The openers

Rohit Sharma (L) of India hits 6 during day 4 of the 3rd Test between West Indies and India at Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium Gros Islet, St. Lucia.The keeper is Shane Dowrich (R) of West Indies. / AFP / Randy BROOKS (Photo credit should read RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

India have three solid opening batsmen in Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal. Sharma and Agarwal were the openers for India in their last home season, with both amassing over 500 runs in five tests.

However, things don’t look good for Agarwal, who had an abysmal tour of Australia. In comparison, young Shubman Gill showed the world why he is considered as the next big thing in Indian cricket. Gill and Sharma will be taking the responsibility to open the batting by the looks of it.

The middle-order

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – AUGUST 02: India batsman Virat Kohli celebrates his century during day two of the First Specsavers Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston on August 2, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

There will not be any selection headaches in deciding India’s middle order. India have a formidable middle order in Cheteshwar Pujara, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. This ever reliant trio will be looking forward to trouble the English bowlers. The easiest choice to make in our predicted India test XI.

 

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The keeper-batsman

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: Rishabh Pant of India celebrates in front of Josh Hazlewood of Australia after his team’s victory during day five of the 4th Test Match in the series between Australia and India at The Gabba on January 19, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

India has to make a choice between Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha. Pant is a far superior batsman and was the hero of India’s series win in Australia, while Saha is the best gloveman in the country.

India usually prefer to play the specialist keeper Saha at home, but this time around with five bowling options and in the absence of all rounder Jadeja, Rishabh might get the nod to strengthen the batting. Also, after his heroics at Gabba and SCG, Pant has proven that he’s good enough to play as a batsman only, let alone as a keeper.

The spinners

Ravi Ashwin will lead the spin attack in our predicted Indian test XI.
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 07: Ravichandran Ashwin and Rishabh Pant of India celebrate getting the wicket of Marcus Harris of Australia during day two of the First Test match in the series between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval on December 07, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Picking the spinners will be another headache for selectors. Looking at the history of Chepauk, India would look to field three spinners. They will have to pick two out of Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar to support Ravichandran Ashwin. Kuldeep Yadav could be the second spinner, as he has prior experience of bowling in International Tests.

Washington Sundar played a huge part in his debut test helping India breach the fortress of Gabba but Axar Patel might be a better pick as he is the only spinner in the squad who turns the ball away from right-handers.

Also, England’s talisman Joe Root who is an exceptional player of spin, does not look comfortable against left arm orthodox bowling. Selectors may continue with Washington Sundar but Axar adds more variety to the team. In our predicted India test XI, we have picked 3 spinners.

 

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The pacers

Jasprit Bumrah bowls against New Zealand in 2020
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – MARCH 02: Jasprit Bumrah of India bowls during day three of the Second Test match between New Zealand and India at Hagley Oval on March 02, 2020 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

India’s front line pacers in sub-continent conditions, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav both are ruled out for the first two tests. In their absence India have the likes of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah to fill in.

Ishant Sharma who did not travel to Australia, looks fit enough to start the first test. Jasprit Bumrah will be looking forward to making his home test debut three years after his international debut, as he will be expected to pair up alongside Ishant Sharma.

Predicted India Test XI vs England

  1. Shubman Gill
  2. Rohit Sharma
  3. Cheteshwar Pujara
  4. Virat Kohli (C)
  5. Ajinkya Rahane
  6. Rishabh Pant (WK)
  7. Axar Patel
  8. Ravichandran Ashwin
  9. Ishant Sharma
  10. Jasprit Bumrah
  11. Kuldeep Yadav

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