The limited overs leg of the tournament is done and dusted. India comfortable won the T20 series, 2-1 while the English team bounced back to win the ODI series by the same margin.
The 5 match test series will begin in Edgbaston on August 1 and it seems both the teams are well balanced and an even contest is expected. England will put their hearts out to win the first match as it marks their historic 1000th Test match.
England has a mix of young and experienced men in their side. Here are the 5 English players to look out for in the series.
1. Joe Root :
Joe Root, the young captain of the English team has gained his formed back after scoring back to back centuries in the ODI series against India. The 27 year old has scored 5,960 runs in 69 matches at an impressive average of 52.28. He has scored 13 centuries along with 40 half centuries, highest score being 254 against Pakistan. Root, has the poorest conversion rate compared to the Fab Four that comprises of Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson. Also, after taking over the captainship, his batting average has significantly dipped to 25. Inspite of everything, “Class remains permanent” and Root is a class act.
2. Aliastar Cook :
When Cook toured India in 2012-13, he amassed 562 runs with 3 back to back centuries and the newspaper headlines read “This Cookie Doesn’t Crumble” and rightly so. The 33 year old is England’s most capped player having played 156 matches also he is England’s highest run scorer and has the most number of centuries (32) for an Englishman. He has scored 12,145 runs at an average of 45.65. He is the youngest to reach to the 12,000 run mark. Cook particularly loves India, his first century came in his very first test match against India at Nagpur also his highest score of 294 is against India.
3. Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes is undoubtedly one of the best all-rounders currently. He has perfectly fit in the void left after the retirement of Andrew Flintoff for England. The left handed batsman has played 42 Test matches and scored 2,579 runs at an average of 34.85 along with 6 centuries. His highest score is 258 against South Africa. It is England’s fastest ever Test double century. The right handed bowler is only 2 wickets away from completing a century of wickets at an average of 33.83. Stokes’ form will be very crucial for England as he gives the captain flexibility of selecting an extra bowler or batsman required.
4. James Anderson :
James Anderson is called as the Golden boy of England Cricket. He holds the record for most wickets by an Englishman i.e, 540 wickets in 138 Test matches at an average of 27.23. He has 25 five wicket hauls and 3 ten wicket hauls under his belt. Currently ranked number 2 in the world, he also holds the record for the most deliveries bowled by a pace bowler (30,398). Jimmy has made cricketing geniuses like Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, Kumara Sangakkara, Michael Clarke and recently Virat Kohli, his bunnies. It is seldom that he is out of form. He will be the biggest worry in the Indian dressing room.
5. Stuart Broad :
When one thinks of Stuart Broad, one remembers the massive 6 sixes by Yuvraj Singh in the 2007 inaugural T20 World Cup, but one must understand Broad was only 21 back then, since the game Broad has grown leaps and bounds. The right handed seam bowler is England’s second leading wicket taker after his bowling partner Jimmy. He has taken 417 wickets in 118 matches at an average of 28.89, which includes 15 five wicket hauls and 2 ten wicket hauls. His best of 8/15 against Australia at Trent Bridge was a delight to watch. His bat also does the talking especially when India struggles at wrapping up the tail. He has a century at Lords which cricketing greats Gavaskar and Tendulkar couldn’t.
Also Read :