India and England are set to lock horns against each other in a 4-match Test series beginning from February 5. The first and second Tests are scheduled in Chennai while the third and fourth are in Ahmedabad. Both teams will come into the series brimming with confidence thanks to their recent showings in the format where they defied odds to come up trumps.
England secured a 2-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka on a turning and difficult Galle track while India fashioned an unfathomable 2-1 series win in Australia despite suffering from a plethora of injuries throughout the series. Both teams will therefore, be upbeat and ready to take on the other. India will go into the series as favorites however, thanks to their home advantage and especially the pros of having the first two Tests in Chennai which is a spinner’s paradise.
Joe Root and Virat Kohli – Clash of run-machines
India, who missed the services of captain Virat Kohli in their final three Tests against Australia, will have him back while England will be led by Joe Root who is in a rich vein of form. Both captains will have a lot of points to prove and are bound to face different tests of captaincy.
Virat Kohli’s position as skipper of the Indian Test side came under scrutiny after vice-captain and stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane‘s smart captaincy in the series win against Australia. Many, including former cricketers and pundits have called for Kohli to be played as a pure batsman and for Rahane to be elevated tot he former’s position. However, Kohli’s captaincy has, by no means, been poor and hence, this series would be the perfect platform for him to reiterate that he is the boss and here to stay. Further, Kohli would want to come good with the bat as the same hasn’t, in recent times, been able to meet the high standards he has set for himself
Joe Root on the other hand doesn’t face any pressure with regard to his position as captain. He will however have a lot of headaches with regard to decisions regarding team combination, his side’s form and so on. While India have a problem of who to choose from their vast pool of talent, England look like they are bereft of options. Root will thus, have to lead from the front and be commanding with his captaincy for his side to have a chance of surprising India. With regard to his batting, Root is in terrific touch, especially against spin and hence, his performances might as well decide the outcome of each match in the series.
A fascinating battle awaits in Chennai as the cricketing extravaganza is set to commence when Virat Kohli and Joe Root walk out to the middle during the toss for the first match in Chennai on February 5.