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HomeCricBlogREVISED: 4 keys to India having a successful tour of England

REVISED: 4 keys to India having a successful tour of England

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

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Like a little kid on their way to a candy store, I’m still very excited.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about four key things India need to do to have a successful tour of England. Quite a bit has changed since then, with India enjoying success in the T20Is, but losing the perhaps more important ODI series 2-1. More significant though are the injuries to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.

Can India still leave England with a feeling of success, despite the loss of two main fast bowlers?

Background

India are desperate to improve their Test record away from home, and definitely had the talent through Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah especially to mount a big challenge. Without them, it will be a very difficult ask to win a five-match Test series in England, but do they have any chance?

In this cricket opinion piece, I will again highlight four key things India need to get right to have a successful Test series, which will certainly have us saying that they had a successful tour.

Here goes:

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Kumar and Bumrah will be big losses for India

Key #1: India’s seam bowling without Kumar and Bumrah


There were plenty of encouraging signs from India’s seam bowlers in South Africa earlier this year. What hurt India the most in that series was the lack of preparation in the lead up, which is something they are guarding against this time.

Two of their best seamers will be out for a good portion of the series (Bhuvneshwar first three Tests, Jasprit first two Tests), which is a huge blow to India’s chances. These two were superb in India’s win at the Wanderers earlier this year, and Bhuvneshwar especially brilliant in the early stages of India’s 2014 Test tour of England. Also, India struggled without these two in the ODIs, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar looking underdone in the final match.

So, what can Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya offer? Will India rely too much on spin? All these seamers have consistency issues, but on their day, they can trouble batsmen.

Ishant Sharma was India’s hero at Lord’s in 2014, taking 7/74 to guide India home. This year in his county stint for Sussex, he took 15 wickets in four first-class matches, a very encouraging performance ahead of the Tests. Mohammed Shami was equal leading wicket taker in the tour of South Africa earlier this year, but he has his fitness issues. Can he get through consecutive Tests and have an impact? What about Umesh Yadav – can he convert promising limited overs performances to good Test showings?

It remains to be seen.

Key #2: Virat Kohli

This hasn’t changed at all since my previous article.

There is plenty of talk about Virat Kohli’s Test record in England, so this is his chance to show us just how far he has come since 2014. It was a nightmare series for Virat, scoring just 134 runs at 13.40, but he has shown his quality in abundance since then, piling on runs in all formats.

Virat Kohli is the kind of player people will rally around, and it showed when India won in Johannesburg this year. Kohli was brilliant on a very difficult pitch, leading the way for others such as Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara to help India win the game.
Kohli has been in great form, reaching his highest ever ODI rating figure. If Kohli can convert this into a big Test series, you know India will be competitive.
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Plenty depends on Virat Kohli

Key #3: Damage limitation early in the Test series

India got ahead in the ODI series but put in very disappointing performances for the remainder of the series.

In my previous article, I spoke about the importance of India getting ahead in the Test series, just as they did in 2014. However, without Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for at least the first two-three Tests of the series, it becomes a sense of damage limitation for India.

They simply must get to the third or fourth Test with a chance of getting something out of the series. If they are 2-0 down, there is very little chance of coming back.

Key #4: India’s batting

To ensure damage limitation, much depends on India’s batting.

In the ODIs, India’s batting, especially middle order, let me and millions of others down. It was a disappointing display by a talented team.

In the Tests, Virat Kohli, as mentioned, will be key. But, can India settle on an opening combination? Is Shikhar Dhawan the answer? He averages in the 60s against West Indies, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, but 32 against South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and England. Can Cheteshwar Pujara get things right overseas, after a tough county stint? His record outside of Asia is not worthy of a player with such good temperament. Both these two struggled against Essex, which is a concern.

Also, can Ajinkya Rahane continue to prove his worth as one of India’s finest overseas batsmen at the moment?

These are also big questions for India in such a big Test series.
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What impact will these two have?
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So, with all that said, I can’t wait for the Test matches to begin. England start as big favourites no doubt, but take India lightly at your own peril. If India are to win these series, I think these four factors are key.
Thanks for reading!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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