India in England 2014 July 7, 2014

Five key head-to-heads

From two embattled captains to the challenge for India's openers against the new ball, ESPNcricinfo picks five contests that could determine the series
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Alastair Cook v MS Dhoni
Two captains who think defence is the first line of attack, Cook and Dhoni will be under pressure for different reasons coming into the series. His tactical limitations and England's eight-Test run without victory aside, it is a lack of runs - 24 innings since his last hundred - that will weigh heaviest on Cook. When leading England to victory in India 18 months ago, he scored 562, including three centuries. That inflicted a rare defeat at home on India but they continue to travel about as well as ice cream in the desert. It is now three years and 14 Tests since they won away, with Dhoni in charge for all but one of them. Over the course of a five-Test series, will either abandon their innate conservatism?

Peter Moores v Duncan Fletcher
The sphinx-like Fletcher comes up against his original successor in the England job, whose utterances are sometimes equally difficult to decode. Moores has only had 11 weeks in charge since being appointed coach for a second time but, after losing in all three formats to Sri Lanka, a one-off ODI in Scotland remains his sole success. He may reflect uneasily on the parallels with 2007, when he took over following an Ashes whitewash and promptly lost at home to India. For Fletcher, the young batsmen he has groomed for the last three years to replace India's old guard of Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman have begun to produce the requisite stacks of runs. They won the Champions Trophy in England a year ago but, according to Fletcher, suffered from overconfidence on subsequent tours to South Africa and New Zealand.

Ian Bell v Virat Kohli
While the heat of the kitchen has been getting to Cook, Bell has coolly donned the "England's best batsman" apron. With 100 Tests under his belt and having shifted up the order to occupy Kevin Pietersen's old berth at No. 4, Bell is now expected to provide steel and silk to order. Consistency can still be an issue - he followed a Man-of-the-Series 562 runs at 62.44 in last year's Ashes with 235 at 26.11 during the return leg in Australia - and England will need more than the two half-centuries he managed against Sri Lanka. Opposite Bell in the India line-up is Kohli, an avenging angel in limited-overs cricket but who is still negotiating with the devil on his other shoulder in Tests. Nevertheless, his average of 46.51 is already better than Bell's and, as centuries in Adelaide, Johannesburg and Wellington prove, he has the game to flourish overseas.

James Anderson v Shikhar Dhawan
On India's last tour of England, they used four different opening combinations in as many Tests and only managed three stands in double figures, the highest of which was worth 63. While Stuart Broad was England's leading wicket-taker, it was Anderson who knocked over more top-order batsmen, his removal of Virender Sehwag for a king pair at Edgbaston symbolic of India being deposed as the No. 1 Test nation. Dhawan has inherited Sehwag's cutlass as opener but he will hope not to suffer a similar affliction against the swinging ball: in England, Sehwag averaged just 27.80. Dhawan and his partner, Murali Vijay, will face an undeniably wearier Anderson than three years ago, however, and England's attack leader may struggle to get through five Tests crammed into seven weeks.

Spin v Seam
The workload for Anderson and Broad will in part be determined by England's selection and tactics. Unless Moeen Ali is given more overs (or a specialist spinner comes into the side), or India disintegrate with the same alacrity as 2011, England seem bound to rotate their fast bowlers - James Whitaker has already suggested all six seamers in the squad for the first Test will play at some point. India's pace attack, meanwhile, will be greener than the surfaces England hope to be given. However, if the pitches remain flat and dry, as is increasingly the case in England, and the weather warm, it is not inconceivable that spin will play a greater role than expected in determining the series. Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin could yet be trump cards.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    i want this line up of indian team 1.dhawan 2.rohit 3.pujara 4.kohli 5.gambhir 6.dhoni 7.binny 8.jadeja 9.shami 10.varun 11.bhuvi

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    dhawan vijay/gambhir pujara kohli rahane/rohit dhoni jadeja binny/ashwin bhuvi shami ishant/ishwar/pankaj /varun wsaha if dhoni s unfit thisshouldbe the compositions ofthe team according to the conditions the nature ofthe wicket and form of the players

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 8, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    It took only one Mitchell Johnson last year to turn the tables for Australia against England. (Warner, Clarke and Haddin played well too but it was Johnson who started the surge..... Johnson was that X-factor. For India too, it must be a bowler or two who stands up, for the whole world already knows that even this young inexperienced bunch of batsmen gave Steyn, Philander and Morkel a run for their money, at their own backyard, where they had previously reduced teams to scores of under 100 with consummate ease. bhuvneshwar is a good bowler, and though he will be amongst the wickets, he isn't gonna destroy the whole England batting line up. Shami neither , so it might have to be either of Ishant Sharma or Varun Aaron. johnson's emergence was unexpected, as is the case with these two, so all it takes is just one spell to remind England of Ashes, and that's all it'll take. Just one terrific spell to set the wheels of revenge on motion. Who's gonna be India's Mitch?

  • POSTED BY DizzD on | July 8, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    Really enjoyed the way sri lankan pacers attacked England. Line and length was brilliant and sign of good old body line attack was breathtaking. Can india do the same?? Of course they can. Will they successful? Definitely not. Indian attack is lack of stamina and courage. And india dont have chaminda vaas as bowling coach.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | July 8, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    @Darkmanx12155: Are you talking about the same Ishant that we all know or some other Ishant? There is 100 possible wickets to be taken in these 5 test and at 164 wickets Ishant needs 36 more to reach 200. That means a bit more than 7 wickets per test. I doubt Ishant is capable of taking 7 wickets each test for 5 tests. And if Ishant is India's Wasim Akram then I guess it's fair enough to say Imran Farhat is Pakistan's Sachin Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY armchairjohnny on | July 8, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    The 6th key 'head to head' battle will be between both of these teams against the media.

    @neil99 this Indian 'attack' isn't even close to the skill levels, variety and discipline of Sri Lanka. The best result India could hope for is a 0-1 or 0-2 loss. They might be able to salvage a couple of draws at best, but the bowlers certainly won't be able to dismiss England twice under any circumstances. Batsmen of the caliber of Cook have probably faced much higher standards of seam bowling at club cricket level, not even county cricket.

  • POSTED BY vagee on | July 8, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Shammi, Pankaj

    Surely this will be the best team for the first test. If Binny is playing in any of this 5 test matches it should be in trent bridge, where is medium pace bowling will be most effective. May be later in the series, Ashwin can replace binny depending on the surface and binny s performance. I sincerely hope the above team to be picked by MSD in the best interest of the indian team winning the match.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    It will be new generation FAB 4 for India. Pujara-Kohli-Rahane-Rohit, all this four are here to stay and will score loads of runs for India. This 5 match series as well as 4 match series vs Australia in Dec will be making of them as the stable batting order for India for years to come. Dhawan will be there for some years too, but Vijay will be first to go from the lot and New young fella will take that baton from him for opener. So in coming years only openers slot will be easily available for youngsters. And we will have to wait still we find two good openers, till than we can go with vijay and shikar. Next time India should find opener-wk batsmen so we will be able to play and allrounder in the team (Jadeja or Ashwin or Binny or Rishi Dhawan). Best wishes for India team. Sure they will fight and win the series by margin of 3 tests.

  • POSTED BY Darkmanx12155 on | July 8, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    This is the tour which will make or break ishant. He will get to his 200th test wicket by the end of the series and he will become the MOS. he is the current wasim akram of india!

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | July 8, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    A lot of comments here about the Indian bowlers bring unable to take 20 wickets. You lot have short memories! The Sri Lanka attack was laughed at only a few months ago and look what they achieved!

    Ultimately, I think the series will be disappointing in terms of quality, but the series will hinge upon 2-3 sessions, where Cook will hand tests to India on a plate through poor tactical decisions.

    India might just sneak this either 2-1 or 1-0.

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    i want this line up of indian team 1.dhawan 2.rohit 3.pujara 4.kohli 5.gambhir 6.dhoni 7.binny 8.jadeja 9.shami 10.varun 11.bhuvi

  • POSTED BY on | July 9, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    dhawan vijay/gambhir pujara kohli rahane/rohit dhoni jadeja binny/ashwin bhuvi shami ishant/ishwar/pankaj /varun wsaha if dhoni s unfit thisshouldbe the compositions ofthe team according to the conditions the nature ofthe wicket and form of the players

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 8, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    It took only one Mitchell Johnson last year to turn the tables for Australia against England. (Warner, Clarke and Haddin played well too but it was Johnson who started the surge..... Johnson was that X-factor. For India too, it must be a bowler or two who stands up, for the whole world already knows that even this young inexperienced bunch of batsmen gave Steyn, Philander and Morkel a run for their money, at their own backyard, where they had previously reduced teams to scores of under 100 with consummate ease. bhuvneshwar is a good bowler, and though he will be amongst the wickets, he isn't gonna destroy the whole England batting line up. Shami neither , so it might have to be either of Ishant Sharma or Varun Aaron. johnson's emergence was unexpected, as is the case with these two, so all it takes is just one spell to remind England of Ashes, and that's all it'll take. Just one terrific spell to set the wheels of revenge on motion. Who's gonna be India's Mitch?

  • POSTED BY DizzD on | July 8, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    Really enjoyed the way sri lankan pacers attacked England. Line and length was brilliant and sign of good old body line attack was breathtaking. Can india do the same?? Of course they can. Will they successful? Definitely not. Indian attack is lack of stamina and courage. And india dont have chaminda vaas as bowling coach.

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | July 8, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    @Darkmanx12155: Are you talking about the same Ishant that we all know or some other Ishant? There is 100 possible wickets to be taken in these 5 test and at 164 wickets Ishant needs 36 more to reach 200. That means a bit more than 7 wickets per test. I doubt Ishant is capable of taking 7 wickets each test for 5 tests. And if Ishant is India's Wasim Akram then I guess it's fair enough to say Imran Farhat is Pakistan's Sachin Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY armchairjohnny on | July 8, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    The 6th key 'head to head' battle will be between both of these teams against the media.

    @neil99 this Indian 'attack' isn't even close to the skill levels, variety and discipline of Sri Lanka. The best result India could hope for is a 0-1 or 0-2 loss. They might be able to salvage a couple of draws at best, but the bowlers certainly won't be able to dismiss England twice under any circumstances. Batsmen of the caliber of Cook have probably faced much higher standards of seam bowling at club cricket level, not even county cricket.

  • POSTED BY vagee on | July 8, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Shammi, Pankaj

    Surely this will be the best team for the first test. If Binny is playing in any of this 5 test matches it should be in trent bridge, where is medium pace bowling will be most effective. May be later in the series, Ashwin can replace binny depending on the surface and binny s performance. I sincerely hope the above team to be picked by MSD in the best interest of the indian team winning the match.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    It will be new generation FAB 4 for India. Pujara-Kohli-Rahane-Rohit, all this four are here to stay and will score loads of runs for India. This 5 match series as well as 4 match series vs Australia in Dec will be making of them as the stable batting order for India for years to come. Dhawan will be there for some years too, but Vijay will be first to go from the lot and New young fella will take that baton from him for opener. So in coming years only openers slot will be easily available for youngsters. And we will have to wait still we find two good openers, till than we can go with vijay and shikar. Next time India should find opener-wk batsmen so we will be able to play and allrounder in the team (Jadeja or Ashwin or Binny or Rishi Dhawan). Best wishes for India team. Sure they will fight and win the series by margin of 3 tests.

  • POSTED BY Darkmanx12155 on | July 8, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    This is the tour which will make or break ishant. He will get to his 200th test wicket by the end of the series and he will become the MOS. he is the current wasim akram of india!

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | July 8, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    A lot of comments here about the Indian bowlers bring unable to take 20 wickets. You lot have short memories! The Sri Lanka attack was laughed at only a few months ago and look what they achieved!

    Ultimately, I think the series will be disappointing in terms of quality, but the series will hinge upon 2-3 sessions, where Cook will hand tests to India on a plate through poor tactical decisions.

    India might just sneak this either 2-1 or 1-0.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    my line up 1st test will be 1.dhawan 2.gambhir 3.pujara 4.kohli 5.rohit 6.dhoni 7.binny 8.ashwin 9.shami 10.varun 11.bhuvi INSHAALLH this team win the test series against eng ...

  • POSTED BY A.Ak on | July 8, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    I would leave RSharma out and go with 5 bowlers. If it is only one spinner, I would go for Ashwin, he is a better bowler and also better batsman than Jadeja in test matches. Jadeja's flat/full deliveries might not be effective in english conditions.

  • POSTED BY shameekdas on | July 8, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    i gss the series will purely be decided on how well the indian top order play against the english seam attack... there is nt much diffrence b/w the two teams apart from the fact that indian top order has zero test match experience in england from the bowling perspective i think ,this is one of the(coz still zaheer will be badly missed) best bunch of indian swing bowlers that are sent to england aftr a long time.... so we can hope for a better bowling performance..... in spin department it will be no match for indian bowlers...so to nullify that advantage we might see tracks that will not at all be spin friendly.... so to wrap it up ...can india win in england?...if stats of individual indian players are to be believed...they surely can. but wheather they will be able to, is a completely differnt issue.

  • POSTED BY ideal123 on | July 8, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    1. Dhawan, 2. Vijay, 3.Pujara 4.Kohli,5. Rahane, 6. Dhoni, 7. Binny, 8.Jadeja 9.Bhuvnesh 10. Shami 11. Ishant.

    If Dhoni gets cold feet - binny wont play, rohit sharma will play.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Cook and not just Cook most batsmen can bat only against Ind.............Kallis have not been able to score at all for some time but in IND tour of SA he piled up lots of runs....Ponting in his last 5years scored 3 100's & all of them vs IND....Same with MC Cullum.........Cook is no different as he has been out of form for a long time & he has scored only against Ind. So Cook need not worry at least abt batting as Indian's r very generous when it comes to leaking runs.

    In ODI whatever 300 350 370 Ind scores in ODI they always let even the mediocre oppositions (who cannot score 220 +vs other teams) score it.

    Both captains r poor but Ind cannot take 20 wickets but Indian batting may once fail in 5 tests to let Eng win the series.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 8, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    @ Arun Bose commented that Pujara "is a traditional test batsman with infinite amount of concentration and will power."

    I have to agree with you there! When he is out on the field that is one intently focussed man. Never wavers, just chugs along all day, building up the runs.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 8, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @ sgrp on wrote "My bad guys. I meant to include Rohit in my line-up instead of Ashwin. Regret the error."

    Don't worry. That was no problem at all. Omitting Rohit is about the smartest thing you could do! Including Dhawan is not smart. That just makes Pujara an opener, coming in by the 3rd over.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | July 8, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    India enter the series with lots of new players. Well done BCCI for appointing Dravid in the coaching role. It's time that these players embrace the grittiness of the old guard Dravid, Tendulkar,Shewag, Laxman,Ganguly, Khan, Bhajji and Kumble. These guys in their prime were good.

  • POSTED BY ThePacifist10 on | July 8, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    @Sujan Perera

    You wish. No one knows what will happen this time around. Still hoping India can pull off a stunner! :)

    On a different note, to the people who are asking for Umesh Yadav, he's not as fast as Aaron and his control is less. Just look at the A tour against Aus. He's not doing very well. But that pitch must be flat as hell because both teams have hit more than 450 in their first innings! Anyways Aaron has that 'shock' factor to his bowling.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    5-0 to England.......no worries

  • POSTED BY sgrp on | July 8, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    My bad guys. I meant to include Rohit in my line-up instead of Ashwin. Regret the error.

  • POSTED BY sgrp on | July 8, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    Looks like this series is a initiation for Rahul Dravid as future India coach. He has been asked to mentor the side and I am sure the BCCI has earmarked him to succeed Duncan Fletcher.

  • POSTED BY sgrp on | July 8, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    People are concluding. Its a bit demeaning. This series will outline Dhoni's different approach to test Cricket. His final phase in International cricket. I am sure he would like to end on a high note. The team selected for the tour is good. I would have liked to see Umesh Yadav and Pragyan Ojha in the team for Ishanth Sharma and Murali Vijay.

    Coming to Binny. It will be interesting. Having been selected he should be played.

    My line up for the 1st test will be

    1) Dhawan 2) Gambhir 3) Pujara 4) Kohli 5) Rahane 6) Dhoni 7) Binny 8) Jadeja 9) Ashwin 10) Bhuvi 11) Shami.

    5 specialist batsmen 2 allrounders 2 spinners 3 seamers. With Rohit part timing with his spinners.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Murali Vijay had given a long run. Hence with experience in account, Gauti can be tested for 1st two tests as a opener with Dhawan. And taking into consideration of the climatic conditions now in England, India can go with 2 spinners and 3 pacers provided Sir, Ashwin, Binny can bat a worth around 100 runs in total. Inclusion of Ishant will never do any good.

    My Playing XI : 1.Dhawan 2.Gauti 3.Chepu 4.Virat 5.Rahane 6.MSD 7.Sir 8.Binny 9.Ashwin 10.Bhuvi 11.Shami..

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | July 8, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    @SICHO on (July 7, 2014, 21:20 GMT), actually, England play more Tests than any other nation. I believe that Anderson and Broad were the two hardest-working fast bowlers last, if I remember the stats correctly.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 8, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    @sahsubash- There's no one in England camp as gritty as Pujara..Pujara is from different planet altogether.. He's a traditional test batsman with infinite amount of concentration and will power.. Nobody in England has it..

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    India will disintegrate fairly quickly, not the same rate as they did in 2011, however the will.

  • POSTED BY SICHO on | July 7, 2014, 21:20 GMT

    why is it that it is only the English bowlers who always encounter "weariness", or "feel the effects of heavy workload"? I mean the number of matches they play is the same with the opposition. They've just come from a very long break since their long tour of Aus. So the idea that they are weary is a bit odd, or maybe some excuses by the media and the players themselves? Maybe, or maybe not

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 7, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    Cook Vs. Dhoni- Both lack lustre & under heavy pressure to bring Victory to their sides. Both may be on last Test series before replacement as captains. Moore Vs. Fletcher: Same comments as above since both had poor record of late. This may be the last year of Fletcher whose record was reverse of Kirstin's, who carried India to #1 Test team. Bell vs. Kohli: They are both outstanding batsmen. They carry the fortunes of batting for their respective teams. Anderson Vs. Dhawan: Battle of Willow vs. Red leather. Dhawan carries the Indian hopes of a solid start while Anderson carries England's as the wkt. taker. Spin vs. Seam: India will do well if the pitch is closer to Indian ones. Ashwin is the fastest 100 Test Wkt, taker in the world. England will not be able to play their top seamers for 5 Tests while India can play their spin twins. Lastly Pujara as a batsman has been ignored. He has a similar role to what Dravid did in 2011 @#3- 3 centuries. I will rule him as an X-Factor of Series!

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    It can be war of attrition here and even if Indian bowling is in apt initially, if batsman can hold fort and confidence for 3 matches, they might break England down in last 2 matches.India has to play for draw and give their best batting performance in 1st innings of each of their 3 matches. Fight is all we want, this might be a coming of age for Shami & may be even Bhuvi. Jadeja can learn to bowl in unhelpful conditions and Ashwin would have to sulk & think on his mediocrity. Although initially I was skeptical of Binny, but I guess selectors know better and it would be amazing if he could better his father's name and keep the surname Binny alive for few more years. My best wishes to Shami and Binny, may you bring glory to India and yourself. I hope commentators let their cricketers fight on ground and not leave a bad taste in our mouths. We can take Sledging on ground but we get confused when we are sledged outside.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    My Line-Up For The First Test Would Be..

    01. Shikkar Dhawan 02. Murli Vijay 03. Cheteshwar Pujara 04. Virat Kohli 05. Rohit Sharma 06. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c)(wk) 07.Stuart Binny/ Umesh Yadav 08. Ravichandran Ashwin 09. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 10. Mohammad Shami 11. Ishant Sharma/ Pankaj Singh

  • POSTED BY Cricfever_PM on | July 7, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    May there is nobody to match Pujara in English camp, The above 5, India needs to capitalize 3 things where Kolhi & Fletchur's role is important and the 3rd chance is liaise with MSD where he has to overtake cook which is highly unlikely in England and surprisingly Dhawan should take care Jimmy which will give boost to india.

  • POSTED BY sahsubhash on | July 7, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    dont count pujara out he is sure 2 succede in eng bt dint mention abot his comparable prtnr misin in eng camp

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  • POSTED BY sahsubhash on | July 7, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    dont count pujara out he is sure 2 succede in eng bt dint mention abot his comparable prtnr misin in eng camp

  • POSTED BY Cricfever_PM on | July 7, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    May there is nobody to match Pujara in English camp, The above 5, India needs to capitalize 3 things where Kolhi & Fletchur's role is important and the 3rd chance is liaise with MSD where he has to overtake cook which is highly unlikely in England and surprisingly Dhawan should take care Jimmy which will give boost to india.

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    My Line-Up For The First Test Would Be..

    01. Shikkar Dhawan 02. Murli Vijay 03. Cheteshwar Pujara 04. Virat Kohli 05. Rohit Sharma 06. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c)(wk) 07.Stuart Binny/ Umesh Yadav 08. Ravichandran Ashwin 09. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar 10. Mohammad Shami 11. Ishant Sharma/ Pankaj Singh

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    It can be war of attrition here and even if Indian bowling is in apt initially, if batsman can hold fort and confidence for 3 matches, they might break England down in last 2 matches.India has to play for draw and give their best batting performance in 1st innings of each of their 3 matches. Fight is all we want, this might be a coming of age for Shami & may be even Bhuvi. Jadeja can learn to bowl in unhelpful conditions and Ashwin would have to sulk & think on his mediocrity. Although initially I was skeptical of Binny, but I guess selectors know better and it would be amazing if he could better his father's name and keep the surname Binny alive for few more years. My best wishes to Shami and Binny, may you bring glory to India and yourself. I hope commentators let their cricketers fight on ground and not leave a bad taste in our mouths. We can take Sledging on ground but we get confused when we are sledged outside.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 7, 2014, 20:54 GMT

    Cook Vs. Dhoni- Both lack lustre & under heavy pressure to bring Victory to their sides. Both may be on last Test series before replacement as captains. Moore Vs. Fletcher: Same comments as above since both had poor record of late. This may be the last year of Fletcher whose record was reverse of Kirstin's, who carried India to #1 Test team. Bell vs. Kohli: They are both outstanding batsmen. They carry the fortunes of batting for their respective teams. Anderson Vs. Dhawan: Battle of Willow vs. Red leather. Dhawan carries the Indian hopes of a solid start while Anderson carries England's as the wkt. taker. Spin vs. Seam: India will do well if the pitch is closer to Indian ones. Ashwin is the fastest 100 Test Wkt, taker in the world. England will not be able to play their top seamers for 5 Tests while India can play their spin twins. Lastly Pujara as a batsman has been ignored. He has a similar role to what Dravid did in 2011 @#3- 3 centuries. I will rule him as an X-Factor of Series!

  • POSTED BY SICHO on | July 7, 2014, 21:20 GMT

    why is it that it is only the English bowlers who always encounter "weariness", or "feel the effects of heavy workload"? I mean the number of matches they play is the same with the opposition. They've just come from a very long break since their long tour of Aus. So the idea that they are weary is a bit odd, or maybe some excuses by the media and the players themselves? Maybe, or maybe not

  • POSTED BY on | July 7, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    India will disintegrate fairly quickly, not the same rate as they did in 2011, however the will.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 8, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    @sahsubash- There's no one in England camp as gritty as Pujara..Pujara is from different planet altogether.. He's a traditional test batsman with infinite amount of concentration and will power.. Nobody in England has it..

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | July 8, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    @SICHO on (July 7, 2014, 21:20 GMT), actually, England play more Tests than any other nation. I believe that Anderson and Broad were the two hardest-working fast bowlers last, if I remember the stats correctly.

  • POSTED BY on | July 8, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Murali Vijay had given a long run. Hence with experience in account, Gauti can be tested for 1st two tests as a opener with Dhawan. And taking into consideration of the climatic conditions now in England, India can go with 2 spinners and 3 pacers provided Sir, Ashwin, Binny can bat a worth around 100 runs in total. Inclusion of Ishant will never do any good.

    My Playing XI : 1.Dhawan 2.Gauti 3.Chepu 4.Virat 5.Rahane 6.MSD 7.Sir 8.Binny 9.Ashwin 10.Bhuvi 11.Shami..