From the Viewsroom

England comes calling

B Baskar | Updated on January 31, 2021

The upcoming Test series in India will be another treat for fans

Close on the heels of India’s spectacular series win in Australia comes the 4-Test series versus England and that too at home. England, fresh after their 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka, seem raring to go. In terms of intensity and quality of cricket, after an India-Australia Test clash comes an India-England Test series. This time around both teams have something to prove. England would like to banish from their minds the 4-0 drubbing they got the last time they toured India in 2016-17, though one must add the scoreline did flatter India a bit.

Similarly, India would like to put behind its 4-1 defeat they suffered on their last tour of England in the summer of 2018. Here too the scoreline was deceptive as India came close to winning at least one more Test, if not two. England must feel confident about the way their batters handled Sri Lanka’s spin bowling, especially captain Joe Root, though admittedly the Island nation now doesn’t have spinners of the class of Muralitharan and Herath. But England would be missing a trick if they concentrate only on India’s spin attack led by Ashwin and Axar Patel, in the absence of Jadeja due to injury, for India now have a world class pace bowling attack.

The days of India packing their side with three or four spinners and preparing rank turners for home series is history. In fact, given the current fast bowling riches — Bumrah, Ishant, Shami, Umesh and the upcoming Siraj — curators in India may be even tempted to prepare bouncy tracks. India would surely be buoyed by the return of its talismanic captain and best batter Virat Kohli. Bumrah. Ishant and Ashwin returning from injuries would mean that the heroes of Brisbane — Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar — unfortunately sitting out.

For the Chennai cricket fans, two Tests being played in their home ground without fans being allowed into the stadium would seem cruel. But with the pandemic still raging we fans should be grateful for the high quality cricket that is being served to us.

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Published on January 31, 2021
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