England vs India 1st Test: It’s time for two of the biggest test playing nations to lock horns. England vs India the first of the 5-match test series is all set to commence on the 1st of August at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Since India’s first test in 1932, the two teams have met 57 times in England with the hosts winning 30 times. India have managed only 6 wins in the European nation. However, this time, the Indian legion seems much more settled. Injuries to Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has certainly ruffled the fast-bowling department, but in Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav the Indian team has fine operators. The batting line-up looks sturdy and if the Indians stick to their basics, a series win is certainly on the cards. Who will win the England vs India 1st test? Let’s examine.
WHEN: 1st August 2018
WHERE: Edgbaston, Birmingham
STATS AT THE VENUE
India haven’t won any test out of the 6 they’ve played in Birmingham. The last time these two teams met at Edgbaston, Alastair Cook smashed a career-best 294 helping England take that game by an innings and 242 runs.
India’s highest score at this ground(390) came in the 1986 test. The match resulted in a draw and that’s the only drawn test at Edgbaston between these two teams. England 5, India 0, Drawn 1.
Alastair Cook’s 294 is the highest individual score at this venue.
Jimmy Anderson has picked 40 test wickets at this venue. He’s picked two 5-fors and averages 21.92.
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are most likely to miss the series opener. Ravichandran Ashwin is likely to retain his place. KL Rahul has to be in the reckoning, considering his current form. It’ll be a selection blunder if he doesn’t make it to the playing eleven.
The English summers have also not been their own this time around. There have been no signs of rain for more than 3 weeks and this means hard and dry pitches. Hardik Pandya or Kuldeep Yadav? That’s another major selection conundrum for the Indian think tank.
For England, the selection of Adil Rashid has raised a lot of eyebrows but his inclusion only seems a positive one considering the pitches that are going to be offered will be rank turners. Playing two spinners has always deemed to be a luxury but England have decided to play Rashid Khan as the lone spinner. Sam Curran will be the 4th seamer.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI ENGLAND vs INDIA 1st TEST
England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root(c), Dawid Malan, Johnny Bairstow, Jos Buttler(wk), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
India: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik(wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav/Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The 2018 test series is undoubtedly India’s biggest test and a certain Virat Kohli will be all pumped to repair his numbers in English conditions. The Indian skipper is one of the best batters in world cricket and against Broad and Anderson, his technique will be tested. Yet again. Anderson dismissed Kohli 4 times in the previous tour especially of deliveries darting away from the right-hander. Kohli’s initial movement makes him a candidate for the lbw dismissal and the delivery swinging in will be a massive threat. Regardless of these concerns, one major reason for India to be confident is that their champion batsman has improved immensely as a batter. Both temperamentally and technically. Bowl him outswingers he’ll take his foot close to the ball and play those beautiful cover drives. Bowl him inswingers, he’ll open his left toe and flick you to the midwicket boundary.
Kohli scored 286 runs in South Africa earlier this year and has looked better with every innings. It’s been 4 years since the run drought. Will the Kohli juggernaut continue or are we going to see one of the best batsmen in the world falter to one of the best swing bowlers the game has ever seen?
Virat Kohli vs England
Matches: 14, Runs: 977, Average: 44.40, Best: 235
Virat Kohli vs England in England
Matches: 5, Runs: 134, Average: 13.4, Best: 39
Root is to England what Kohli is to India. The English test skipper also makes it to the elite list of batters in the world and against some quality Indian pace, he too will be tested. Root’s numbers in test cricket are outstanding but the only complaint against him would be his conversion rate. Until 2015, Root’s 50 to 100 conversion rate was a decent 38 %. Post-2016, the rate has dropped down to a saddening 19%. As cricketing fans, one of the most pleasant sites is to watch root plant that left foot forward and drive immaculately through covers. Yes, he does get off to starts but if England want to dominate the series, Root has to step-up. England on their day can seem the best batting line-up, but, they’re also only a step away from appearing extremely average. Root displayed his class in the ODIs against India and if he gets going, the Indians will have a long day out in the centre.
Joe Root in tests
Matches: 69, Runs: 5960, Average: 52.28, 100’s: 13, 50’s: 40
Kohli in tests
Matches: 66, Runs: 5554, Average: 53.40, 100’s: 21, 50’s: 16
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England vs India 1st test will be England’s 1000th test. The most by any country. They’ve won 357, lost 297 and drawn 345. Australia with 812 tests rank 2nd. India have played 522 tests.
Since the beginning of the 2014 season, England have lost 10 out of the 30 home games. 4 coming in the last 10.
350 seems to be a safe score in the first innings of a test in England. Since 2014, teams scoring 350 in the first innings have not lost 82.7% of the times.
Jimmy Anderson is only 23 wickets away from becoming the leading wicket-taker for fast bowlers. Anderson has played 138 tests and has picked 540 wickets at 27.23.
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Also, check out our previous match previews.
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