Ranking Members of the India Test Squad by Their Record in England

Tim Collins@@TimDCollinsFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2014

Ranking Members of the India Test Squad by Their Record in England

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    India embark on a two-and-a-half month tour of England this week, as MS Dhoni's men get ready to tackle an exhaustive programme of five Tests, five one-day internationals, three tour matches and one Twenty20 international. 

    After a long stretch of poor form away from home, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have elected for a new-look side in search of the nation's first Test series victory outside of India in three years.

    However, India will harbour concerns regarding the experience of the youthful team, given that only three members of the Test squad have played five-day cricket on English soil.  

    Consequently, we've ranked the overall records in England (Test, international limited-overs and county) for each player on India's squad to determine which of their stars have pedigree on English shores ahead of this summer's Test series. 

    The men with previous Test experience in England head the list, while those with only limited-overs records follow.

India Squad Members with No Record in England

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    India's decision to select a talented and youthful squad is a bold and exciting move, but the sheer number of squad members without any experience in England will remain a headache ahead of the tour. 

    Below is an overview of those who will arrive in Britain without a match on English shores to their name. 

    India's First Timers in England

    Varun Aaron: The right-arm speedster has made just one Test appearance to date, with his selection likely based on an impressive stint in this year's Indian Premier League

    Stuart Binny: A back-up all-rounder, Binny has been rewarded for a solid domestic season in India but is unlikely to feature in the Test side this summer. 

    Mohammed Shami: After bursting onto the scene against the West Indies last year, Shami has become India's leading seamer despite having just six Test caps to his name. 

    Ishwar Pandey: The leading wicket-taker in the Ranji Trophy in 2012-13, Pandey has spent time with this India squad before but is yet to make his Test debut. 

    Pankaj Singh: Ignored for years despite an impressive first-class record, Singh has finally been given a chance as India look to bolster their seam-bowling contingent for the English pitches. 

    Cheteshwar Pujara: India's Test specialist, Pujara has truly excelled since his recall to the side in late 2012 and will look to add to his fine record on his first trip to England. 

    Ajinkya Rahane: An extremely versatile batsman who has helped to strengthen India's middle-order, Rahane will join Pujara as the team's most promising batsmen alongside Virat Kohli. 

    Wriddhiman Saha: The reserve wicket-keeper is extremely unlikely to be involved unless injury limits MS Dhoni's playing time. 

    Murali Vijay: The last of India's first-timers to England, Vijay will need to put runs on the board quickly on the tour after a poor run in New Zealand. 

9. Rohit Sharma

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Test Record in England: N/A

    Overall International Record in England: 12 matches, 309 runs at 30.90

    County Championship Record: N/A

    Rohit Sharma stands as India's most perplexing figure ahead of the country's tour of England.

    Despite being blessed with sublime talent, the polished right-hander continues to frustrate the game's observers with inconsistency that can only be explained as a psychological shortcoming. 

    Like a lot of his team-mates on this upcoming tour, Sharma has only visited England for limited-overs events, most notably competing for his nation at the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. 

    While the 27-year-old has scored three half centuries in those 12 matches, his four encounters with England have produced just 19 runs. 

8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Test Record in England: N/A

    Overall International Record in England: 5 matches, 6 wickets at 22.83

    County Championship Record: N/A

    Bhuvneshwar Kumar's ability to produce prodigious movement through the air saw the right-armer enjoy a superb Champions Trophy campaign in the early weeks of the English summer in 2013. 

    After an indifferent first match against South Africa, the 24-year-old reeled off four strong performances against the West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England during India's run to the trophy. 

    However, that campaign represents Kumar's only experience on English soil.

    Perhaps more concerning for the seamer is the fact he's yet to play a Test outside India after being dropped following the West Indies' visit to the subcontinent in November. 

7. Ravichandran Ashwin

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    Test Record in England: N/A

    Overall International Record in England: 11 matches, 14 wickets at 26.35

    County Championship Record: N/A

    Ravichandran Ashwin was one of India's leading players at the Champions Trophy last year, claiming eight wickets in five matches to help his nation to the title. 

    The finger spinner also has some limited-overs experience in England from India's last visit in 2011.

    However, Ashwin has become something of a liability away from home, averaging 74.77 with the ball in his four Tests away from India.

    That theme has been evident recently, with the 27-year-old going wicketless in South Africa before being dropped for the Tests in New Zealand despite fine form in India prior to that. 

6. Virat Kohli

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Test Record in England: N/A

    Overall International Record in England: 11 matches, 374 runs at 41.55

    County Championship Record: N/A

    Virat Kohli will prepare for the biggest challenge of his career this summer, embarking on his first Test series in England. 

    Possibly the most precocious talent in the game, the Indian superstar will be the key middle-order player for MS Dhoni's men as they seek to end their dreadful form away from home. 

    Statistically, Kohli's record in England is respectable without being stellar, having scored one century and two fifties in his 11 limited-overs matches on English shores. 

5. Ravindra Jadeja

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Test Record in England: N/A

    Overall International Record in England: 10 matches, 190 runs at 63.33; 19 wickets at 18.05

    County Championship Record: N/A

    Another of India's players to own purely limited-overs experience in England, Ravindra Jadeja's record on English shores in superb. 

    During his nation's Champions Trophy success, the all-rounder was emphatic with the ball, claiming 12 wickets and chipping in with 80 useful runs in five matches to play a decisive role for MS Dhoni. 

    In fact, Jadeja hasn't gone wicketless in a single match in England and will look to continue that form in the Test arena this summer. 

    But until he does it in England in white clothing, he can't be ranked ahead of others on this list. 

4. Shikhar Dhawan

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Test Record in England: N/A

    Overall International Record in England: 5 matches, 363 runs at 90.75

    County Championship Record: N/A

    Like Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan was one to lead the team to the Champions Trophy crown last summer as part of India's new wave of talents.  

    After opening the tournament with consecutive hundreds, the left-hander recorded scores of 48, 68 and 31 to entrench himself at the top of India's line-up. 

    However, 2014 has seen Dhawan endure a lean stretch, meaning his place on the team in England is far from certain this time around. 

3. Ishant Sharma

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Test Record in England: 4 matches, 11 wickets at 58.18

    Overall International Record in England: 14 matches, 23 wickets at 42.73

    County Championship Record: N/A

    While Ishant Sharma's record in England isn't exactly impressive, the simple fact that he owns Test experience in this country puts him ahead of others in a statistical sense. 

    During India's last Test series in England, the right-armer was expensive in claiming 11 wickets, conceding 97 runs or more in four of the six innings he competed in.

    Although his limited-overs numbers are slightly better, the very hit-or-miss nature of his performances mean he's a very unpredictable quantity for MS Dhoni. 

2. Gautam Gambhir

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    Test Record in England: 3 matches, 102 runs at 17.00

    Overall International Record in England: 12 matches, 363 runs at 24.20

    County Championship Record: 5 matches, 239 runs at 34.14

    In a bid to get back into the Indian Test team, Gautam Gambhir opted for a spell of county cricket with Essex in 2013 to gain experience in English conditions. 

    Although he scored just one hundred in his only county stint, the move appears to have paid dividends for the left-hander, as he's earned a recall ahead of this tour. 

    And while his record in England doesn't make for intimidating reading, strong form domestically should provide the veteran with increased confidence ahead of a defining trip to England. 

1. MS Dhoni

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    Test Record in England: 7 matches, 429 runs at 39.00, 19 dismissals

    Overall International Record in England: 30 matches, 961 runs at 34.32, 43 dismissals

    County Championship Record: N/A

    This summer is likely to be MS Dhoni's last chance to lead India to victory in England, given that the wicket-keeper and captain will be turning 37 years of age when his nation visits the country next.

    From a record standpoint, only Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly have played more cricket for India on English soil, with Dhoni set to move past Ganguly on this tour. 

    Somewhat surprisingly, the skipper's batting average in England is rather similar to his career mark, with four half centuries in the lower-order helping to maintain a solid record.

    All statistics and match data courtesy of ESPN Cricinfo.