Preview: Everything you need to know about India vs England Bilateral series

International cricket is all set to return to the sub-continent after cricket affairs have resumed post-pandemic scenario. It is quite surprising to learn that India hasn’t hosted a single international match post COVID19, although International cricket has resumed way back in September 2020.

As per schedule, England is all set to tour India for 4 Tests, 3 ODIs, 5 T20s that start from Feb 05 and last till Mar 28 of 2021. Players will be entering bio-bubble by Jan 27th i.e., almost nine days prior to the start of the series.

While England is currently touring Sri Lanka, Team India is enjoying their holidays after a quite hard, long, and breathtaking Australia series.

Series schedule

Source: Cricbuzz

India will play the first two tests at Chennai followed by the last two tests and all 5 T20Is at the newly inaugurated stadium in Ahmedabad. To those who don’t know, the Prime Minister of India has inaugurated the largest cricket stadium(by accommodating a 1.1 lac audience) in February 2020 named Sardar Patel Stadium as a tribute to Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel. This stadium is located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Last part of the series, 3 ODIs are set to be played at Pune. That concludes the series and by the time series gets to an end in late March, BCCI would be getting all preparations done to host their cash-cow IPL-14 in the April-May window.

Squads

India and England both have announced squads only for the first two tests. Squads for the rest of the series will be announced in due course.

India squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur

England Squad: Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

Team Updates

Kohli returns to the Indian Test squad after his paternity leave. Ishant is back in the squad as well, as he had completely recovered from the rib injury he sustained during IPL. Hardik Pandya has been picked as a pure batsman as he is yet to resume his bowling activities after undergoing surgery.

Injured Vihari, U Yadav, Shami, Jadeja weren’t available for the selection while selectors missed out on T Natarajan after an impressive performance in his debut series. Ashwin, KL also recovered from their respective injuries and retained their spots in the team. Axar is set to replace Jadeja in the squad.

England is following a rotation policy for its all-format players and is resting key players at regular intervals to keep them fresh and safe from injuries. As a part of that policy, Buttler would be given rest for the last 2 Tests. Bairstow, Curran, and Wood will be back into the squad for the last two tests. Archer and Stokes, who were rested for the Sri Lanka series will make a comeback against India in the first two tests.

England announced that they haven’t made a deal with Sky Sports yet for broadcast of India series. BT Sport and Channel 4 will be broadcasting the series in England while India’s broadcasting sponsor Star India would stream the series through all its allies(All regional language star sports channels, SS3, Hotstar etc).

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