After Sourav Ganguly repeatedly emphasized on leaving early for the tour like England, Australia and South Africa, as it takes more than just a couple of weeks to adjust to the new conditions, Team India has left for the tour of England, which will start on 10/07/2014
In this article, the author has picked 5 Indian players, who, in his opinion will perform in this big series.
Virat Kohli: He is the X-factor and also the most reliable batsman, of India’s batting order. While he has played some ODI’s in India’s previous tour of England, this will be the first time he will play 5-day cricket in England. While his exploits in the ODIs have earned him a near-legend status in recent times, he has proved his worth at the Test match level as well. Virat batted brilliantly in South Africa against the likes of Steyn, Morkel and Philander, and it was mainly because of his aggressive hundred that India were able to draw the first Test match. Virat carried on his good form in New Zealand and proved to the world that he can bat under any conditions. Now, going into this big series, Virat’s role be immense and his form will have a crucial impact on the outcome of the series. He’s someone who can counter-attack when the chips are down, but James Anderson and co. will test all his skills. Virat Kohli did not have the best of the IPL, but because Indian team have left early for the preparations, I am backing Virat to overcome the bad patch and score tons of runs for his team.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Undoubtedly, the most technically correct batsman of the team, Cheteshwar Pujara will be the man around which the entire batting line-up will revolve. Pujara will have to negotiate the new-ball if there’s an early wicket and his role will also be to bat through sessions, because he’s someone who can score big hundreds and double-hundreds. Pujara’s role will be vital, and he will have to forget his horrible tour of Bangladesh, where he failed miserably with the bat. There’s no doubt about his talent and class, but, having said this, this will not be an easy for him.
Gautham Gambhir: Not long ago, the southpaw from Delhi was the best batsman of Team India, but after his longish bad patch at the international level, he was dropped and he had to go through the basic all over again. He is one of the very players in the team, who has toured England, but this time he will be under a lot of pressure as he will be looking to cement his place in the team. There’s a lot of competition for the opening slot, but he will be definitely up for the challenge, as if he cannot afford to let this opportunity go.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar: Bhuvneshwar will be a serious threat with the new ball, and undoubtedly. India’s best bowler going into this series. Bhuvneshwar’s bowling style is very similar to James Anderson, but he still has a long way to go, if he wants to achieve what Jimmy has, in his long Test career. Bhuvneshwar’s biggest test will be to bowl with the old ball, but, off late, he has shown immense signs of improvement and has matured as a bowler. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will rely heavily on Bhuvneshwar for early break through, and also with the second new ball.
Mohammad Shami: Shami has been one of the brightest finds of Indian cricket, in the last 12 months or so. Primarily a reverse swing specialist with the older cherry under dry conditions, Shami has improved and impressed one and all in the tours of South Africa and New Zealand, where he bowled with good pace. Although, he has not been able to take the number of wickets that was expected from him, but he troubled the batsmen with his fierce pace, and his biggest asset i.e. reverse swing. Shami will be keen to be prove his worth at the biggest stage, and specailly when the conditions will be suitable for his style of bowling.
by Kaushik Narayanan