New Delhi: The highly-awaited India vs England Test series is set to spark the cricket battle between the old rivals. On one hand, where India will be looking to avenge their defeat on English soil in the past, the visitors will be eyeing a major upset against the hosts.
The two sides are comprised of match-winning players with the likes of Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, R Ashwin and Graeme Swann, known to be a dominant force in the game of cricket. The series seems to be evenly poised and promises action as the two rivals collide to establish their supremacy in the game of cricket.
Here’s a look at the top 10 players to watch out for in the upcoming Test series.
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Virender Sehwag: The Nawab of Najafgarh, has been struggling with his dismal form for the last two years in Test cricket. But, the two-time triple centurion will look on to shut his critics with a much needed explosive knock against England in the upcoming Test series. He will be hungry to score runs, which in turn makes him lethal for the hosts. If Virender Sehwag can score 219 in a 50-over game, the destruction he can cause in Test cricket stretches beyond imagination.
Kevin Pietersen: The controversy’s favorite child will be back in action in the Tests after his sensational spat with the ECB recently. After a controversial absence from cricket, Pietersen is back in the English squad and will look on to put some runs on the board against his name. He is an aggressive cricketer and likes to stamp his authority on the opposition early in the series. He likes to dominate bowlers and his skills against slow bowlers make him very dangerous. His recent knock of 110 runs against Haryana in the practice match shows his form and class as England relies heavily on this lad to tackle the hosts.
R Ashwin: The premier Indian spinner will be eagerly waiting to exploit the home conditions against the English visitors in the upcoming Test series. His performance in the past has also earned him a promotion to Grade A in the BCCI’s list of annually contracted players. He has now graduated to being India’s No 1 premier spinner in every format, mounting pressure on the veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. With England’s weak batting against spinners, Ashwin is undoubtedly one of the bowlers to look out for in the upcoming series.
Alastair Cook: The recently promoted captain in Tests has been great for England cricket and is the main reason why England is such dominant force in Test cricket. He scored tons of runs when India travelled there and will be hoping to do the same this time. His patience and grit is phenomenal and he has the ability to handle any situation. He will have to score big if England has to do well here. He also scored a magnificent knock of 119 runs in the practice match against India A.
Sachin Tendulkar: The ‘God of Cricket’, who missed out on scoring runs in the recent series, has been under the hammer with speculations over his retirement. But, the master blaster will be full of confidence with his recent knock of 137 runs from 136 balls in the Ranji Trophy against the Railways. He will undoubtedly be a key contributor if Team India goes on to rattle the English visitors.
Graeme Swann: He is one of the best spinners going around in the world right now. Swann has been brilliant for England and it is his variation that makes him so dangerous. It is a treat to see him bowl and a lot will depend on him. He will get pitches that will assist turn and Swann will know that he has to deliver for England to do well.
Umesh Yadav: The young Indian seamer has proved his mettle at the International circuit in the past and with his recent five-wicket haul in the Ranji Trophy for UP against Delhi, he is surely a bowler to watch out for in the upcoming series. He ripped through Delhi’s star-studded batting line-up with the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir and Virat Kohli, with his five-wicket haul in the domestic cricket recently.
Jonathan Trott: The South African-born-English cricketer has been amongst the runs in the past with his supreme skills against the seamers. He has been in a superb form as the right-hander scored a scintillating knock of 101 runs in the practice match against Haryana recently. Trott has a name for his patient batting in the Tests that in turn helps him to hold the wickets at one end while keeping the scoreboard ticking.
Ajinkya Rahane: The young Mumbai batsman has showcased his class at the International arena in the past. He will look on to score valuable runs for the hosts so as to cement his position in the playing XI squad. He will be full of confidence with his recent century against the Railways in the Ranji Trophy. His versatility to open the batting and simultaneously bat at the middle order makes him a deserving choice for Team India’s playing XI.
James Anderson: He has been a consistent performer for England from the past few seasons. Anderson is very intelligent and has grown in stature. He is one of the best new ball bowlers going around and his ability to swing the ball both ways makes him very dangerous. He has the ability to produce unplayable deliveries now and then and his battle against the Indian openers will be incredible to see.