The sticks on both sides will face a tough test when an England team without Ben Stokes faces India in the first Test in Nottingham starting Wednesday.
Although England captain Joe Root has an impressive test average of 48.68, the next best in his team belongs to the open Rory Burns, with 33.23. In particular, Jacques Crawley has seen his test scores drop dramatically since making a brilliant 267 win over Pakistan, with just 123 points in 12 consecutive appearances.
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Following England’s 1-0 defeat to New Zealand in June – the first reverse home campaign in seven years – former captain Alastair Cook said the current top order “could not withstand” the pressure of Test Cricket.
There are also concerns about the Knights in view of a five-game campaign coming 50 years after the victory of the first row of tourists in England.
India captain and star Virat Kohli has not scored a Test 100 in almost two years, while opener Mayank Agarwal was ruled out of the first test with a suspicious concussion after hitting his head in the net on Monday.
Cheteshwar Pujara, meanwhile, has an average of under 30 in England. And Ajinkya Rahane, since starting India’s stunning revival during their 112 win in Australia last year in Melbourne, has gone fifty-just once in the next 13 tests.
Just as India were preparing yarns in favor of spinners in England’s 3-1 win earlier this year, it would not be surprising if a green field was designed to maximize the skills of veteran New England duo Stuart Broad-playing his own Headquartered in Nottinghamshire – and James Anderson will be on the show this week.
Anderson, England’s all-time leading scorer, has an extremely brilliant Trent Bridge record, with 64 wickets in 10 games and under 20 each.
India, however, also has an impressive seam attack featuring Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Siraj.
“We expect England to give us such wickets, these are the conditions of their home,” said Lt. Rahane, with India in England for several weeks after the final defeat of the World Test Championship in New Zealand. “We are not too worried about what wickets they give us. We are ready.”
The series can be decided by which team best faces the Covid restriction that surrounds players on both sides. It was announced on Friday that key all-rounder Stokes took an “unlimited break from all cricket” to prioritize his mental health.
England and India, two of the world’s largest cricket cards, have made a small concession to the coronavirus by continuing to follow full programs that can be particularly burdensome for multi-star stars such as Stokes.