Chennai, 4/2: After a long wait of 330 days, Cricket will return to India. India will take on England in the first test match in Chennai. India was scheduled to play South Africa in March 2020 but it was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Even the Indian Premier League was played in UAE in September. India then toured Australia for a long series of 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 4 Test matches. India will be high on confidence after beating a full-strength Australian team despite the visitors missing their key players.
The result of India vs England series will also make it clear who will play New Zealand in the final of the ICC Test Championship at Lord’s in June. To qualify for the finals India needs to win the series by a margin of at least 2-1. On the other hand, England will have to win at least 3 test matches to qualify.
India is always a force to reckon with in the home conditions and after beating Australia in their backyard, they will be enormously confident. England will rely on their Captain Joe Root to score big runs along with All-rounder Ben Stokes who has experience of Indian conditions, thanks to IPL. The presence of good fast bowlers like James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, and Chris Woakes will boost the team but the lack of an experienced spinner will hurt them.
India’s line-up is more or less settled with most of the players coming back to the team. Virat Kohli will be hungry for runs after he missed the last three test matches in Australia due to his paternity leave. Only predicament for India will be in the bowling department, where they have to decide whether to play 2 spinners or 3 spinners. Ashwin is a certainty, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar will fight for a place in the team. Chepauk’s pitch has traditionally helped the spinners, it is more likely that India might go with 3 spinners.