India Return to Chennai after Historic Tour for 1st Test against England

After a historic Test series, which saw India beat Australia at home for the second time while breaching fortress Gabba with a young side, the side takes on England at home.

While India comes home with an away series win, England comes to India on the high of extending their successful run in Sri Lanka.

Following a whitewash in 2018, England one-two more Tests in Sri Lanka to take another series.

The spinners Bess and Leach have shown they can bowl in the subcontinent, while Anderson and Broad provided healthy contributions.

To top the sides performance, Joe Root has found some great form and is on the verge of playing his hundredth Test at the Chepauk.

He piled a double hundred and a 186 in the two Tests and proved he belongs in the fab four.

With India likely to be a more significant challenge, England has shown they are up for it.

The Sri Lankan tour had another benefit for England, as it provided a handy warm-up to the side.

The quarantine has left the side with just three days to practice, and having played Test Cricket recently; the side may not feel too rusty on the field.

Both sides are going to be bolstered with some key players.

Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes are back for England, while they may lose players such as Jos Butler after the first Test.

Moeen Ali is also in line to return after recovering from Covid-19.

He has been out of Test Cricket for a while and is with 200 Test wickets insight.

India, on the other hand, has a handful of players returning to the side.

After playing an inexperienced bowling attack in Brisbane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ishant Sharma look set to return in Chennai.

The batting line-up will also be getting a massive boost, with captain Virat Kohli returning after his daughter’s birth.

His return will allow the batting line-up to go back to how it was before the Australian tour, providing stability in the middle.

The pandemic has seen Cricket stay away from India, and with bio-bubbles finding success, international Cricket is set to return to the nation.

The first two Tests are set in one of India’s historic stadiums, Chennai.

The series is significant for both sides, and Australia, as a result, determines who faces New Zealand at Lords for the World Test Championship finals.

With Australia pulling out of the South Africa tour, New Zealand has been confirmed a spot in the top two.

The three sides will be looking keenly at the ongoing series results as the Lord’s Test gets closer.

Key Players:

Virat Kohli:

Virat Kohli has had an underwhelming 2020, for his standards, and will be looking for a fresh start in 2021.

He will be playing his first game of the year, and after the birth of his daughter, and remains a dangerous batsman at home.

With the other batsmen shining in his absence, the pressure on Kohli may be eased a bit, allowing him to play with some freedom.

He has had some incredible partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara in the past, and India will hope for more.

Ravichandran Ashwin:

Playing at home, Ravichandran Ashwin is always a dangerous bowler.

He returns to Chennai, his home ground and a place he knows better than most.

The spinner has enjoyed success in Australia, and will feel confident on helpful conditions.

With the ground favorable to spin bowling, Ashwin could well be the game-changer through the series.

Joe Root:

Joe Root has gone through a dream series against Sri Lanka with massive scores in the two Tests.

He has shown his ability to bat against spin in the past and can be as dangerous as Virat Kohli on Indian conditions.

With a wide range of shots, Joe Root may challenge India throughout the series.

He will be playing his 100th Test.

Moeen Ali:

Following a prolonged break and about of covid-19, Moeen Ali is back on the Test side.

With a lot of experience, Moeen Ali will hope he can emulate Swann and Panesar in 2012.

He is a skillful bowler and is likely to come refreshed after a break.

Team News:

The Indian side is likely to see a handful of changes, with many players returning from injury.

There will be a few debates regarding the spin attack and several bowlers, while the keeper’s role may come into question.

Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the Test series, which may allow Kuldeep Yadav a run in the series after spending the Australian tour on the bench.

The side will look to play three spinners, as it usually does playing at home, while one of them takes the role as a bowling all-rounder in Jadeja’s place

Probable: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma.

Like India, England has a few players returning from break.

With Ali coming back, the spin attack is up for debate.

The pace attack is another debate with Anderson and Broad in the race and their workloads being managed.

Probable: Zak Crawley, Dom Sibly, Rory Burns, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jos Butler, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Jake Leach/Dom Bess, James Anderson/ Stuart Broad.

Pitch and Conditions: 

The Chennai Pitch is generally a spin-friendly one and may continue to be so.

There have been indications of grass being left on the surface, but the pitch may still take a turn as the Test goes on.

The weather is likely to be refined throughout the Test.

Sanjay Sanapoori

A mechanical engineering student, who has immense love for cricket. Been a fan of the game since 2009 and would love to stay involved with Cricket someway or the other.