About the Match
India begins the tour with a five-match Test series against England, the 1st test beginning on 9th July at Nottingham with both the teams having a fairly good mix of young and experienced players. The present test squad members touring England were part of the last test series they played against New Zealand in Jan-Feb 2014, which they had lost and the England team has just concluded a test match series on home soil against Sri Lanka, on a losing note. However, both teams look agile and have the capacity to withstand the pressure of the game in the longer format and hence a very interesting action filled series is on the cards.
Alastair Cook leads the same team which recently concluded a home series against Sri Lanka; he is the most experienced player with 25 centuries and 35 half centuries from 104 test matches, followed by Ian Bell who has played 100 tests with 20 centuries and 41 fifties, his highest being 235. Stuart Broad, who has the highest wickets of 11 in a match, opens the attack; Robson is new to tests but has done well opening the innings with the Captain against the Sri Lankans with a century in the final test while Ballance fits well as a bridge between the top and middle order to stabilize the innings. Plunkett took 9 Sri Lankan wickets in the 2nd test; Prior has done a good job behind the wicket and has been in good nick with the bat too. As a whole, the England team is jelling well and has been able to deliver in recent times; Anderson and Broad have the capability to contain the lengthy and mighty looking Indian batting line-up. They will have to be careful against the tactful bowling of Ashwin and Jadeja and the emerging quickies in the squad.
India has many new founds and emerging stars in the team, who lack experience in the longer format of the game; Dhoni is best suited to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each player and utilize them in the best possible manner at a given moment. He is the most experienced player in the team, who has led the team against the Kiwis with almost the same team, as now on tour in England. Shami, Pankaj Singh, Varun Aaron are all there but without much experience, who have learned to generate pace and add punch to their deliveries and of course the old horse Ishant Sharma is handy with enough experience to guide the younger lot. Wriddhaman Saha can relieve Dhoni behind the stumps and can be a useful middle-order bat; flamboyant Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma add strength to the team and need to deliver wholeheartedly. Overall, team India looks quite strong to deal with the hosts if they learn to keep a cool head above their shoulders.
Both teams have strengths in their line-up which needs to be exploited and though England has the home advantage and determined to make up for their recent loss, India looks well placed to perform better, but with batting of both sides looking in fine touch and flat decks, a draw looks to be most probable result.
Draw, 2.50 @ Bet365