India will looked to consolidate on their 3-0 series whitewash over New Zealand and bring out another dominating performance against England in the five-match series that begins on Wednesday in Rajkot. While the team is full of match winners, some players have the ability to turn the match on its head. Here are the five from the Indian team:
There is no doubt that Kohli is currently one of the top batsmen in Test cricket. He already has two double centuries this year, and has led his team to the number one rank in Tests. And this is another opportunity for him to shine, both as a captain and batsman. He has scored 560 runs this year at an average of 56. His two double centuries are the only big scores and he needs to score more.
If India is top ranked team in world, it is majorily because of Ashwin’s great bowling form at home, which has helped him achieve the top rank in bowler’s rankings too. He is coming back off a brilliant performance against New Zealand, a series in which he took 27 wickets. In 2016, he has played seven Tests and has managed to pick 44 wickets at an average below 20. He will play a key role in the upcoming series if India want to over-turn the 2-1 result from the last series.
Though he has played only four Tests this year, Jadeja has been a key player for India when playing at home. Jadeja, alongwith Ashwin, can run through any batting line-up in the world. And the amount of maidens he bowls is just exceptional. This builds pressure on the batsmen and helps Ashwin pick the wickets. And if he can re-produce the batting he managed against New Zealand, India will be more than happy with those quick runs lower down the order.
The wicket-keeper batsman will be an important player in India need to dominate the series. Like he did against New Zealand, Saha needs to play according to the situation. He two half-centuries at Eden Gardens proved to be the difference between the two teams. Once again, India will need him to gather runs down the order and quickly, whenever needed.
With India’s injuries to openers still a worrying factor, Pujara needs to play a dual role of an opener and a number three. He has down it in the past and will clearly have no problem doing it again. An early wicket will need him to stable the innings while if India get a good start, he can build on it to take his team to a big score. And no talks about the strike-rate please.