England vs India, 1st Test: England will come into a face-off with India in a five-match test series starting on 4th August at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
The Indian squad after the conclusion of the WTC final got a well-deserved 20 days break. After the end of the break period, the Indian team assembled in Durham where they resumed their training sessions. Team India also played a warm-up match against the County Select XI which was a part of their warm-up schedule ahead of the five-match test series.
Captain Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane & Rishabh Pant all missed the warm-up match due to myriad reasons. Rahane & Kohli was advised to take rest due to fitness concerns while Pant had tested positive for COVID-19 & was kept in isolation. However, the trio is now fit & all set to take the field in the first test against England.
Meanwhile, injuries have been a major issue for the Indian test squad. During the warm-up match, Sundar & Avesh suffered injuries that ruled them out of the tour. Shubman Gill is also ruled out of the squad after suffering a stress fracture in his shin during a training session post-WTC final. The BCCI later approved team management’s request to provide replacements for injured players. Thus Suryakumar Yadav & Prithvi Shaw has been named as replacements for injured players & they will be available for selection from the third test match.
What comes as a major blow for the Indian squad is that Mayank Agarwal suffered a concussion just two days before the first test. As Shubman Gill & Mayank Agarwal are out of the test series & Prithvi Shaw will be available from the 3rd Test, team India just has two opening choices in their team i.e. Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul.
On the other hand, England was last seen in action against Pakistan in a three-match T20I & ODI series. However, during the series, England was playing without their regular players after a COVID-19 outbreak in their squad. A second-string team was captained by injured Ben Stokes was fielded in front of Pakistan. However, England proved their mettle in the series against Paksitan by winning the ODI series by 3-0 & the T20I series by a 2-1 score.
England last played a test match against New Zealand which the Joe Root side lost by 1-0 scores. Stunning performances from Rory Burns and Ollie Robinson emerged as positives from the two Tests. Ollie Robinson who was suspended after an investigation into racist & sexist tweets he did has been cleared to join the squad after serving his suspension period.
England will field their full-strength squad for the series, however, they will miss the services of Ben Stokes who took an indefinite break from Cricket. Jofra Archer will also be unavailable for the test series as he hasn’t recovered fully after his elbow surgery.
With both the teams fielding their best XI, you could expect a crackling contest on the grounds of Trent Bridge. Both the squads will head in the first test with the aim of winning the clash & taking a crucial lead in the five-match test series.
England vs India 1st Test Match Details:
Date: August 4-8, 2021 (Wednesday-Sunday).
Time: 11:00 AM (Local/ BST), 03:30 PM (IST), and 10:00 AM (GMT).
Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Rain could play a spoilsport in all five days of the 1st test. There are chances of drizzles during the match timings on days 2, 3, & 4 of the 1st test match. The average temperature should be around 20 degrees Celsius over five days.
The pitch at Trent Bridge offers plenty of grass that means it should be a bowler-friendly wicket. The wicket will assist seamers with some turn-on offer towards the last two days of the match.
For hosts, Haseeb hammed could grab a spot in England’s top order after an array of inconsistent innings from Dominic Sibley & Zak Crawley. Jonny Bairstow could bat at No.3, with skipper Joe Root slotting in at No.4.
Jos Buttler could don white gloves, with young Daniel Lawrence likely to bat at No. 6. There is a tie between Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson for the seam-bowling all-rounder’s slot. Mark Wood, James Anderson, and Stuart Broad should form England’s pace attack. Jack Leach could feature as the lone spinner.
England: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed/ Dominic Sibley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Daniel Lawrence, Ollie Robinson/Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, and Jack Leach.
There has been a lot of speculations over India’s Playing XI after the key players of the squad suffered unfortunate injuries. With Mayank Agarwal out of the first test, KL Rahul should open with Rohit Sharma with Pujara batting at No 3, although Hanuma Vihari opening with Rohit is still a possibility.
Rishabh Pant should keep wickets and Ravichandran Ashwin should slot in as the primary spinner for India. With India’s lower-order batting a concern for them, they could opt to field Shardul Thakur or Jadeja over Umesh Yadav or Mohammed Siraj.
While Umesh and Siraj could be considered in upcoming games, India should field their usual pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami for this match.
India: Mayank Agarwal/ Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane/ KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja/ Shardul Thakur, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami.
India hasn’t won any test series in England since 2007. And with some of their players being injured & some of their test regulars not in good form, there are chances that the full-strength England squad would dominate India in the first test.
Prediction: England to win.
England vs India 1st Test, TV and Live streaming details
TV: Sony Six
Live Streaming: SonyLiv
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