The number one Test team in the world, India, will take on England in a five-match Test series followed by three ODIs and T20Is, respectively. Indian cricket team, led by Virat Kohli, arrived in Rajkot on Saturday morning for the first game of the Test series scheduled at Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium at Khandheri. This is also the first five-Test series in India after 29 years. The last five-Test series was hosted in the year 1987 against Pakistan. This series will also be the first instance when India will use the DRS, after 2013.
India have not lost a home series since going down 1-2 in 2012 to the England side led by the 31-year-old Alastair Cook. England, who arrived in the sub-continent a bit early, are coming to India having drawn a Test series in Bangladesh.
Captain Cook on his arrival in Mumbai said that England would be underdogs in the upcoming Test series. “It’s a big challenge. Any time you play the No. 1 or the No. 2 ranked team in their backyard, who are very comfortable in their conditions, it’s a huge task for us. It’s a huge challenge to these guys who have not played a huge amount of cricket in the subcontinent as a group,” said Cook.
Here’s a quick look at the venues to host the upcoming matches between the two teams:
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Nov 09, Wed – Nov 13, Sun India vs England, 1st Test
Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot: With a capacity of nearly 28,000, the Khandheri Cricket Stadium in Rajkot is set to host the first encounter. Rajkot has previously hosted two international matches, both being high-scoring encounters. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja have scored triple centuries on the pitch in Ranji matches. One of the unique features of the stadium includes a Lord’s-like media box.
Nov 17, Thu – Nov 21, Mon India vs England, 2nd Test
Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam: The stadium has a pleasing backdrop along with even-paced wickets. Some of the earlier matches helped spinners which will be beneficial for someone like R Ashwin. The Stadium has a capacity of 38,000.
Nov 26, Sat – Nov 30, Wed India vs England, 3rd Test
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali: Considered as one of the finest cricket stadiums in the country, the Mohali stadium has a capacity of 30,000. Back in the 1990s the Mohali track used to be fast, but recent encounters were high scoring in nature. IPL matches have regularly produced 180-plus runs which have been chased as well.
Dec 08, Thu – Dec 12, Mon India vs England, 4th Test
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai: The closeness to the Arabian sea will help swing bowlers, specially early in the morning. England’s fast bowling unit, led by James Anderson, would like to make the most out the conditions in Mumbai. With a capacity of 45,000.
Dec 16, Fri – Dec 20, Tue India vs England, 5th Test
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai: The spin-friendly wicket at the Chepauk Stadium and the statistics have further boosted the fact. Out of the top ten-wicket takers at Chepauk, nine of them have been spinners while one pace bowler, Kapil Dev, has managed to achieve the feat.