• Monday, Nov 30, 2020
  • Last Update : 03:23 am

England v India - three key battles

  • Published at 12:20 pm August 1st, 2018
root and kohli

Here, AFP Sport looks at three key battles that could shape the course of an intriguing series

England and India begin an eagerly-anticipated five-match contest with what will be England's 1,000th men's Test of all time at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Here, AFP Sport looks at three key battles that could shape the course of an intriguing series.

Root v Kohli

'If you want to know the state of the fish, look at its head' runs the old proverb and that can apply to cricket teams as well.

England captain Joe Root and India skipper Virat Kohli are two of the world's leading batsmen and their ability to inspire team-mates rests largely on their ability to lead from the front through weight of runs rather than exceptional tactical ability in the field.

Both men will have a point to prove with the bat this series.

Root has converted only three out of 23 fifties since his Test-best 254 against Pakistan in 2016 into hundreds -- a poor return for a player of his class -- while Kohli is looking to improve his record in England after scoring just 134 runs in five Tests on his maiden tour of the country four years ago.

If either man has an impressive series, the chances are it will mean their team have big scores on the board and are in the ascendant.

Rashid v Ashwin

A prolonged period of hot weather and the ensuing dry pitches mean spin bowlers could have a greater influence on a Test series in England than is often the case.

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is a proven world-class bowler with 316 Test wickets at 25.34 but just three of those wickets have been taken in England.

There have been suggestions that left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav should be picked as India's lone specialist slow bowler on the back of his one-day form, although former captain Mohammad Azharuddin has urged the tourists to play two spinners.

If Ashwin does start, however, India will look to him for control as a gruelling schedule of five matches in six weeks could well take its toll on the fast bowlers, with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah already injured.

England will want the same from leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who has been recalled for his 11th Test but first at home. His selection has proved controversial given he has not been playing red-ball cricket, with Rashid dragged into an ugly spat with former England captain Michael Vaughan.

It will be fascinating to see if Rashid can put the row behind him, especially as the only spin support he is set to receive at Edgbaston will come from Yorkshire team-mate Root's occasional off-breaks.

Bairstow v Karthik

Jonny Bairstow is one of the leading wicketkeeper-batsmen in world cricket today, averaging nearly 40 in Tests and with five hundreds at this level to his name. He has frequently bailed England out of the trouble with the bat and become increasingly assured with the gloves -- which could be particularly important in backing up the spinners if the slow bowlers find themselves bowling long spells.

Certainly if Bairstow struggles in either department it will be a blow to England.

His India opposite number Dinesh Karthik has spent much of his career in the shadow of MS Dhoni, with the 33-year-old's 24 Tests spread over a period of 14 years.

It is asking a lot for Karthik, who averages 27.13 in Tests, to match Bairstow with the bat but a strong display behind the stumps would strengthen India's bid for a series win.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail