With the number game in equivalent sphere after India won the T20 series and England bounced back in ODIs, the focus now shifts to test matches, with the winner emerging as the champion of the series in number game. India last won a series in England in 2007 under Rahul Dravid. Since then the team has suffered some humiliating series defeats and the pressure will be on Virat Kohli to eke out some impressive performances from his players. However, Pakistan last toured England and managed to draw the series which will boost the confidence of “Men In Blue” to thump England at their backyard.
Here are the predicted Playing XI of India for the first test against England at Edgbaston
India may look to go with KL Rahul and Murali Vijay at the start of the innings. There are some conditions to prove it
1- Shikhar Dhawan was dropped from the 2nd test against South Africa in January when he failed to impress in the first test. His stats at away tours are not favorable, opening door for inform KL Rahul.
2- Murali Vijay was the highest run scorer for India in 2014 England tour and it is unlikely that he will be dropped.
Though he doesn’t possess great numbers at the away tour still the team management will pick Cheteshwar Pujara at number three. Captain Virat Kohli will look to bounce back from a disastrous 2014 tour and be amongst the runs while picking the number four slot. Vice captain Ajinkya Rahane has ben the saviour at the foreign tours, he will take the number five slot.
Lower Middle Order
Dinesh Karthik was the best replacement after Wridhimann Saha was ruled out of the series. He also showed his class against Essex on the first day of practise match at Chelmsford, scoring 84 not out to rescue India. He will be favoured over the debutant Rishabh Pant at number six. Hardik Pandya will be key to India’s success in the seaming English conditions with the bowl and also with the bat. The all-rounder will take the number seven slot.
Kuldeep Yadav may be the surprise inclusion over R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI. Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma will lead the pace battery in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
India’s predicted XI for the first test against England at Edgbaston.
Virat Kohli (C)
Dinesh Karthik (WK)