A look at the India predicted XI as India and England are all set to take part in the opening game of the five-match Test series, starting January 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
England announced their squad for the series last month. India, on the other hand, named their squad only for the first two Tests.
India have been a brute force in Tests at home and the Three Lions, led by Ben Stokes, have their task cut out.
- 1 India predicted XI for the first IND vs ENG Test match of 2024
India predicted XI for the first IND vs ENG Test match of 2024
Openers – Rohit Sharma (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal
Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal should open the batting for the Indian team in the first Test against England. Both batters struggled to get going in the recent Test series against South Africa on difficult pitches to bat on in Cape Town and Centurion.
However, that they are exceptional batters in the purest format cannot be undermined. Rohit does not have the best of records in overseas Tests, but he has been stupendous at home. On Indian soil, Rohit has racked up 2002 runs from 24 Tests at an average of 66.73 and a strike-rate of 65.55 with 8 hundreds and 6 half-centuries to his name.
Against England, Rohit has notched 747 runs at an average of 49.80 with 2 hundreds, 3 half-centuries and a top score of 161 that he got back in February 2021 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Jaiswal made a dream run to his Test career when he scored 266 runs in 2 matches with a top score of 171. However, he found the going tough in South Africa. The youngster will now look to make an impact on turning tracks at home.
Middle-order – Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer
Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer’s role in the middle order is going to hold a lot of importance. The right-handed Shubman has struggled in Test cricket in the last 6 months, but is in the India predicted XI.
In his last 5 Tests, Gill scored 150 runs at an average of 18.75 with a top score of 36 in the first innings of Cape Town Test against the Proteas. In 8 Tests on home soil, Gill has scored 417 runs at an average of 32.07.
The 35-year-old Kohli, on the other hand, was arguably the standout batter for India on the tour of South Africa. In challenging conditions, he scored 172 runs at an average of 43 with a top score 76 at the SuperSport Park.
Kohli, in the meantime, is only 9 runs short of completing 2000 runs against England in Tests. At home, he has an exceptional record, having scored 4144 runs from 50 Tests at an average of 60.05 and a strike-rate of 59 with 14 hundreds and 12 fifties.
Shreyas Iyer had a series to forget in South Africa. In 2 matches, he scored only 41 runs at an average of 13.66 and a strike-rate of 58.57 with a top score of 31. He will be looking to make amends and get some big scores under his belt.
Wicketkeeper – KL Rahul
India have 3 wicketkeepers in their squad in the form of KL Rahul, KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel, who earned his maiden call-up to the Indian team. However, barring any unforeseen circumstances, it is going to be KL Rahul, who will get the nod ahead of Bharat and Jurel.
Rahul batted beautifully on the tour of South Africa when he scored 113 runs from 2 games at an average of 37.66 and a strike-rate of 58.24. In the opening Test that India lost, Rahul was the standout batter for his team. He scored 101 in the first innings, although he got little support from the others.
Rahul is also 245 runs away from completing 3000 in Test cricket. At home, he is 77 runs away from the landmark of 1000 runs, having racked up 923 runs from 16 matches at an average of 40.13 with a top score of 199 to his name.
All-rounders – Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja
On pitches that are expected to help spinners, it is almost certain that Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin would be the all-rounders in the India predicted XI. Ashwin is only 10 wickets short of joining an elite list of bowlers with 500 or more wickets in Tests.
In 95 Tests, Ashwin has taken 490 wickets with 34 five-wicket hauls and 8 10-wicket hauls. He is also 12 wickets shy of becoming only the second bowler after James Anderson to pick up more than 100 wickets in Test matches between India and England.
Don't know why everyone makes fuss about selections for a home test series, the series will anyways be decided by Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar!!— Gagan Chawla (@toecrushrzzz) January 12, 2024
Ashwin also enjoys batting against England as he has scored 970 runs from 19 Tests at an average of 37.30 with 1 century and 6 half-centuries to his name.
Jadeja, on the other hand, has been a prolific wicket-taker in Tests for India and is 25 scalps short of 300 wickets. He is also 6 wickets shy of completing 200 wickets at home.
Jadeja has taken 51 wickets from 16 Tests against England. He is also 196 runs away from reaching the landmark of 3000 runs in Tests. Moreover, the left-arm spinner needs 6 wickets to reach the landmark of 500 wickets in first-class cricket.
Bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav
Jasprit Bumrah recently became the Player of the Series after India drew their 2-match Test series against India. The pacer picked up 12 wickets from 3 innings at an economy rate of 3.19. In the second innings of the Cape Town, Bumrah picked up a 6-wicket haul.
Mohammad Siraj will partner Bumrah in the bowling department. In the Newlands Test, he won the Player of the Match award after he picked up 7 wickets in the first innings. It remains to be seen if Siraj can show the same effectiveness even on Indian pitches.
India have Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan and Kuldeep Yadav as the other 3 options to choose from. The hosts can also pick Axar Patel in their playing XI. But we have Kuldeep Yadav in the India predicted XI for the x-factor he adds.