England vs India, Tests: Key battles to watch out for
England and India are set to engage in the five-match Test series, starting August 4. The first Test will be played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. India suffered a 1-4 defeat on their previous tour to England (2018). The battle between Virat Kohli and James Anderson had taken centre stage back then. Here are the key battles to watch out for in the impending series.
All eyes will be on Anderson and Kohli
The most successful fast bowler in Test cricket, Anderson, dominated Kohli in 2014. India's most successful Test skipper duly gave it back to Anderson on India's next tour to England. He was the leading run-scorer in that series. It will be interesting to see who wins the battle this time. Anderson has dismissed Kohli five times, while Kohli has scored 236 (565) against Anderson.
Stuart Broad has dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara four times
India's top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has had a lean patch of late. He hasn't scored a Test hundred in over two years. Pujara particularly struggles in the English conditions, where he averages less than 30. On the other hand, Anderson's compatriot Stuart Broad will look to exploit the weakness of Pujara. He has dismissed Pujara four times, with Pujara scoring 167 (355) off Broad.
Broad has dismissed Ajinkya Rahane six times
Broad also has the edge over India's vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in Test cricket. He has uprooted Rahane as many as six times in the format. Rahane has managed to score 99 runs off 303 balls against the English seamer. The tally includes 252 dot balls.
Joe Root will be wary of R Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin has been India's match-winner in Test cricket in recent times. He recently took a five-wicket haul for Surrey in the County Championship. Over the years, he has had the better of England captain Joe Root. He has dismissed the latter thrice in a space of 52 deliveries (37 dot balls). Meanwhile, Root has scored 31 runs against Ashwin.
Who will come on top?
Mohammed Shami will be India's key fast bowler in the upcoming series. His pace could work wonders in England's conditions. On the other hand, senior batter Jos Buttler would want to give his best shot in the absence of Ben Stokes. Buttler has scored 119 off 163 balls against Shami in Test cricket. Meanwhile, the latter has dismissed Buttler twice.