The clash of titans, the face-off between the two cricket giants, the highly anticipated five-match Test series between India and England is about to commence on August 4, 2021. The first fixture will be played on Wednesday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham at 3:30 PM IST.
The visiting Indian team will be seen in whites for the first time since the World Test Championship final loss against New Zealand in Southampton in June. After the summit Test championship game, the Indian contingent in the UK took a break before they regrouped in Durham ahead of the English Test. In this long England tour, the Indian team met with casualties as Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar got injured and were ruled out for the entire tour. Earlier this week, Mayank Agarwal was hit on the head by Mohammed Siraj’s bouncer during the nets session. Ahead of the first game, Virat Kohli and the team are yet to decide who will open the batting along with Rohit Sharma. With the likes of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur, the visitors have a competent pace attack. The Indian batsmen were seen struggling with the moving ball in the final against the Kiwis, they will be aiming to tackle the swing to garner a competitive score on the board along with backing the bowlers to defend the total.
Considering the home conditions and the green-top wicket, the circumstances are well-suited for the Englishmen but the unavailability of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes might trouble the hosts in some departments. On the other hand, England also hasn’t played much white-ball cricket, their last fixture also came against the Blackcaps in June ahead of the WTC final. The Englishmen lost the two-match Test series 1-0. With the absence of Stokes in the middle order, Joe Root has the responsibility of carrying the team’s batting line-up in the long five-match Test series. The team’s success will be highly dependent on the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, with their abilities to move the new ball.
England has the upper hand in the head-to-head competition as they beat India on 48 occasions and lost 29 times with 49 fixtures that have ended in a stalemate. The last outing between the two teams in the longest format took place earlier this year where India won the Test series 3-1 and qualified for the WTC final.
India: India will be missing out on the services of Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan and Washington Sundar, the latter two got injured during the warm-up game in the previous month. Gill picked up the leg injury after the summit WTC final. Mayank Agarwal has also been ruled out for the first Test after he was hit on the head in the nets.
England: On the other hand, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes are set to miss the Test series for England. Archer is going through an elbow injury while Woakes has been out due to a broken heel and Stokes has taken an indefinite break over mental health.