The not so English summer beckons
Despite the absence of Ben Stokes, England’s Test Team are currently preparing to face India in a gruelling 5 match series starting on Wednesday the 4th of August. The hosts ran out 4-1 winners the last time the two teams faced in England but lost 3-1 earlier in the year in India.
In June, England lost 1-0 to New Zealand. India also lost to New Zealand the same month and by doing so handed the Kiwis the World Test Championship title.
So, how will the home side line-up in the first Test?
England’s Test team: The likely XI
England’s top-scorer in the Test series versus New Zealand should be a guaranteed starter against India on Wednesday. Rory Burns scored a century and a half-century last month and has been England’s best opener in the post Alastair Cook era.
Had a tough time off late but should keep his place in the side due to a lack of other options. His overall average of 31 isn’t exactly inspiring when you consider that a lot of his runs came during the start of his career. Could do with a couple of centuries against India.
His 267 against Pakistan last summer was a fine innings but he hasn’t really kicked off from there. Struggled in India, as did most other batsmen. Looks an organised player and should be nailed on to bat at number three in this series for England’s Test team.
Joe Root (C)
By his standards, Joe Root had a really poor series against New Zealand but he is far and away England’s best batsmen. With Ben Stokes not playing against India, the pressure will be on Root to carry the middle order. It will not be easy, though, as India have a top-quality bowling attack.
Hasn’t quite lived up to expectations and this home series could be a big one for Ollie Pope. Having scored only Test century in 19 games, he could definetley do with a prolific series. An average of 31.50 is not enough batting in the top 6 for England. A first-class average above 50, though, shows that he still has the pedigree to become a class batsman.
Don’t Miss It!
It’s not inconcievable that Jonny Bairstow will receieve yet another chance in Test match cricket. Since his inclusion in both the ODI and T20 sides a few years ago, he has been a world-class limited-overs batsman. However, his Test match form has dipped and this could really be his last chance saloon.
Jos Buttler (WK)
Having now established himself as England’s first-choice Test wicket-keeper, Jos Buttler will be a key cog in the middle-order against India. He had a great series when the same opposition toured in 2018 and will need to step up again to help England’s Test team avoid collapses.
A genuine all-rounder, Sam Curran has improved drastically in the last few years. It was his all-round performances that helped save England during India’s 2018 tour. His left-arm swing bowling will be very handy in testing conditions. With the bat, Curran has the ability to score change games and take the attack to the bowlers.
Last summer, Stuart Broad led England’s attack brilliantly and spearheaded the home side to victories over both West Indies and Pakistan. He was steady versus New Zealand and should improve as the summer goes along.
Edges Dom Bess out as England’s best spinner due to consistency. He has taken 62 wickets in just 16 Tests at a bowling average of 30. These are good numbers and if he can continue to bowl at a similar level at home, he will be outright first choice.
Jimmy Anderson just turned 39 recently but still shows no sign of slowing down. He is already the most prolific Test bowler in terms of number of wickets taken. Against India, in favourable conditions, he could yet again be a menace as he was in 2018.
Who makes it into your preferred XI ?
Are you willing to leave Jofra Archer out of the team after his 2019 Ashes exploits at home? Share your team in the comments section below!
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