India v England – Five Indian Players to watch out for in the Test series

In a couple of months, Team India will embark on its toughest challenge in recent times as it takes on England for a five-Test series. After having lost the previous Test series 3-1 here in 2014, Virat Kohli and his men would be determined to do well this time round.

India certainly has the payers who can do it for them. Here is a look at five Indian players to who can make a difference this time in the Test series versus England.

Virat Kohli

Yes, he had horror Test series in England on that 2014 tour where he averaged only 13.40 with not a single fifty in ten innings. That tour was a blotch in Kohli’s career and has haunted him over the past four years. However, Kohli is a much improved batsman now. Being the Indian captain across formats has helped his game and he relishes the responsibility. Moreover, in a much-needed move, Kohli will also be playing a month of cricket with Surrey before the Test series. This should certainly help Kohli in handling the swing and seam and get better acclimatized to the English conditions. Kohli is determined to do well this time in England and don’t be surprised if he emerges as one of the shining stars for India this time.

Murali Vijay

He was the highest scorer for India on their last tour to England in 2014 with 402 runs in 5 Tests at an average of 40.20 along with 1 hundred and 2 fifties. Murali Vijay will yet again be looked upon as India’s best bet for countering England’s new ball bowlers. Vijay has a super technique and a ‘monk-like’ persona that allows him to stay for long hours at the wicket. He is adept in the art of leaving the ball and frustrating the bowler. Vijay, as an opener, would definitely be one of the most crucial players for India in the Test series.

Ajinkya Rahane

While his limited overs form has taken a dip, Ajinkya Rahane, the Test batsman, is always a vital part of India’s batting. His hundred in the Lord’s Test in 2014 was instrumental in India winning the match and Rahane would be eager to prove his mettle again here. It is likely that Rahane would be utilized in the middle-order and in the event of early wickets falling he would have to ensure some steadiness. Rahane has the gumption to stay at the wicket and also caress some sparkling strokes all over the ground. Once in flow, he is difficult to stop and hence Ajinkya Rahane would certainly be one of India’s most important men in the Test series in England.

Hardik Pandya

To succeed in England, India desperately needs a seam bowling all-rounder. They tried this on the last tour of England with Stuart Binny but it didn’t really work out. Today, however, they have Hardik Pandya in their ranks. The all-rounder has grown from strength to strength in the last few seasons and has produced some exceptional results for India in all forms of the game. On India’s recent tour to South Africa, Pandya had struck a cracking 93 in the first Test and followed it up with some decent bowling performances. In England, Pandya’s seam bowling would be more than handy as he moves the ball well and bowls excellent cutters. As a batsman, he can be a game changer lower down the order if he can produce some useful cameos. Clearly, Hardik Pandya, the all-rounder, can make the difference for India in this Test series.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

He has been India’s most improved bowler in recent times across all formats and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will undoubtedly be the most crucial aspect of India’s bowling in the Test series against England. Bhuvi’s swing and seam are perfect for conditions in England and after having added an extra yard of pace to his bowling, he will be more than a handful on those surfaces. He has been exceptional these last few months and has shown an ability to bowl tight channels while swinging the ball on all surfaces. He performed brilliantly in the two Tests he played against South Africa earlier this year and is likely to open the bowling for India in England. Bhuvi’s swing bowling will certainly be a treat for the eyes this summer in England.

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