India vs England 1st Test: Preview & Predicted XI

India vs England 1st Test Preview

The first test of the India vs England four-match test series of the Anthony de Mello Trophy 2021 is supposed to be held from 5 February to 9 February 2021 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The test series would mark the resuming of a cricketing rivalry that has been eagerly awaited by cricket fans across the world.

The test series will be followed by 5 T20I and 3 ODI matches. This match, which will be among the global initiatives to resume sports amidst the pandemic, will mark the return of international cricket to India since the spread of COVID-19.

India vs England – Big cricketing rivals

The India vs England cricketing rivalry dates back to 1932 when India played its first test ever and it has been a hot favorite of cricket fans ever since. India has also played its highest number of tests against England -122. As the host side, India has always been successful and has won the Anthony de Mello Trophy seven times, including the last time when it defeated England 4-0 in the series. This test series comprises a part of the inaugural 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship whose final shall be held in June this year at Lord’s.     

Both the teams shall be going into this match in high spirits. India has recently won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Australian by defeating Australia 2-1. This series has been dubbed as historic and India emerged the leading test side in the world. England has won their recent test series against Sri Lanka and is confident about putting up a decent fight against India. The visitors have already arrived in India and are raring to go in the first test. The two teams have players who have been prolific against each other – including the likes of Joe Root, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Moeen Ali.

Players to watch out for

The teams boast of multiple excellent players who consistently have been drawing crowds to the stadiums ever since they have been playing. The captains of the two teams – Virat Kohli and Joe Root are two of the most prolific batsmen in the world now. Kohli is placed fourth in the ICC Test Men’s Batting rankings while Joe Root trails him at the fifth position. The Chennai test is set to the hundredth test match for Joe Root and thus there will be a lot of expectations from him. He has been in prolific form as of late, and the fans will closely watch the variety of shots that he employs. Kohli has been prolific in the last test series that England had played in India, averaging 109.

India is reportedly planning to include three spinners for the test – Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav. Both Ashwin and Sundar were in terrific form in the recently concluded series against Australia and thus one should keep out for them as Chepauk or the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium is known for having a pitch that favors spinners.

Indian players Shubhman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane will also be in the spotlight after their brilliant performances against Australia. Veteran pace bowler Ishant Sharma is also set to return after being off the field as of late due to injuries. England has a host of players to watch out for too. Its veteran pace bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been in good form. Ben Stokes is one of the best all-rounders in the world and he will certainly add to both the bowling and batting strength of the English team. Paceman Joffra Archer and spinner Dom Bess are in good form too and will boost the bowling attack. 

Head to Head record:

Matches played: 122 | India: 26 | England: 47 | Draw: 49 | Tied: 0

India vs England 1st Test Predicted XI

IND XI: Virat Kohli (c), Gill, Rohit Sharma, Pant (wk), Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane. Pandya/Washington Sundar, Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel/Mohammed Siraj

ENG XI: Joe Root (c), Sibley, Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, Lawrence, Ben Foakes. Buttler, Anderson/Stuart Broad, Dom Bess/Jack Leach

Conclusion

The India vs England Chennai pitch is traditionally known for being a spinning pitch. As per the recent reports, the pitch will be favoring the fast bowlers on the very first day. On the second and third day, it will be aiding the batsmen while on the final day of play, it will be conducive to spin bowling. This promises a good contest between the two teams.

While India has emerged as a team that boasts of a significant strength even in its reserve bench, even England will be raring to prove itself further in subcontinental conditions after winning in Sri Lanka. Indian fans got to watch good, nail-biting test cricket in the recently concluded series against Australia and this match will promise the same. Overall, cricket fans can gear up to watch an exciting, promising match on 5 February.