Match Prediction
India vs England (1st Test) – Probable Playing XIs For The Game
By CricShots - Feb 4, 2021 3:51 pm
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Team India will be witnessing the comeback of the skipper, Virat Kohli is set to be back in charge for the upcoming four-match Test series against England scheduled to be commencing in Chennai on Friday (February 5). His deputy, Ajinkya Rahane was the captain of the side when the Indian team registered a historic 2-1 series win over Australia. It’s hardly been a couple of weeks since the Indian players were welcomed home from Australia with chariots and rose petals. 

England vs India

Even with Virat Kohli’s return will be expected to raise the energy levels of the Indian team, it’s the plausibility of fatigue from an Australian tour followed by such a quick turnaround that England will hope to capitalize on. After all, the hosts haven’t lost a home Test series since losing to England in 2012. 

While India has fought and protected that record, Joe Root himself has come a long way, but what’s even more heartening for the visiting team is the fact that the England skipper has used the tour of Sri Lanka last month to flip the narrative on conversion rate. His aptitude against spin bowling will also be put to test against the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, who is fresh from wrecking Steve Smith’s home average.

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Besides Kohli’s return, the prospect of reaching the World Test Championship final at the expense of both Australia and England should give the hosts a reason to shrug off any Australian hangover. As it stands, India’s qualification scenario involves a fairly gettable target in the advantageous confines of home conditions. 


team india
Team India practices ahead of Chennai Test

India’s last Test at home was against Bangladesh when they fielded three quicks and two spinners. But a typical pitch of Chepauk could tempt them to play three spinners in tandem with Jasprit Bumrah and the returning Ishant Sharma. Kuldeep Yadav can be expected to make it to the playing XI, while the toss-up for the third spinner’s spot will be between Washington Sundar and the uncapped Axar Patel. 

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Should India stick to two spinners and three quicks, then Kuldeep will have to warm the bench for longer with one of the all-rounders getting picked to fill the void created by Ravindra Jadeja’s absence. The Wriddhiman Saha vs Rishabh Pant debate still doesn’t have a clear winner, despite the latter’s Gabba heroics. Saha’s experience as a gloveman could sway the tough decision in his favor.

Probable Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha/Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar/Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav/Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah


england practice
England players 

A wrist injury sustained three days ahead of the series opener has ruled Zak Crawley out of the first couple of Tests, creating line-up issues for the visiting team. England now need to figure out who bats at No. 3. An extra batting vacancy will allow them to pick both Ollie Pope and Daniel Lawrence, with the latter a shoo-in to slot in at one-drop.

Having missed both the Tests against Sri Lanka after contracting coronavirus, a fit-again Moeen Ali is likely to take Dom Bess’s spot in the XI.

Probable XI: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad