England and India begin their much-anticipated five-match Test series at Trent Bridge on Wednesday. India are marginal favourites heading into the first Test.
Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Date: Wednesday, July 9—Sunday, July 13
Start time: 11 a.m. (BST), 3.30 p.m. (IST)
TV and live stream: Sky Sports (UK), STAR Sports (India), SuperSport (South Africa), PTV Sports (Pakistan), Ten Sports (Sri Lanka), Orbit Show Network (Middle East), Fox Sports (Australia)
Weather: The BBC predicts a few rain interruptions throughout the five days, but nothing should be so severe that it washes out an entire day. Cool temperatures will dominate for most of the Test.
The last time India toured England, they were smashed 4-0. Now India are marginal favourites to win. With an England team still struggling to find their feet after a disastrous Ashes tour, India might just surprise a few people this time around.
Despite the fact that just three members of the current India squad have toured the country before, India's young guns are filled with excitement ahead of the tour.
As per ESPN Cricinfo, Virat Kohli noted that it is a personal landmark for him to experience things like playing at Lord's and the tough test English conditions hold for players from the subcontinent.
I'll be playing a Test at Lord's for the first time so all in all a very exciting tour for me personally because I have never played Test cricket here before. I am really looking forward to it. I have some goals I want to achieve, and I have been thinking about them. I am pretty excited about playing here, and it is right up there with the toughest venues for subcontinent players.
For India's young players, especially their rising bowlers, nothing gets better than this. The conditions will be very much in their favour, and if they can learn to exploit them, it will be one of the best tours they have this year.
At the opposite end of the picture, England have much to prove. Not only are they under pressure to win, but they also need to re-engage the fans.
The Ashes fallout has left many victims along the way, and fans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the team's struggles. The recent 0-1 series loss to Sri Lanka only served to further disenchant the paying public.
Alastair Cook is under immense pressure to prove that he can learn from his mistakes and take a more innovative approach and lead his team out of the doldrums. The script is all set for a tasty contest and even the English weather has decided to not be too disruptive.
England might be in for some other selection disruptions, though, with Matt Prior reporting "mild stiffness" in his right thigh, according to ESPNCricinfo. Jos Buttler has been put on standby in case Prior does not recover.
Prior has been under some pressure to retain the gloves in the Test team, and this injury could very well be the chance Buttler needs to prove himself at the highest level.
The script is written for one seriously tasty first Test. Buckle up, cricket fans, this is going to be fun.
Joe Root was the star of the series against Sri Lanka. His double ton was impressive and he topped both the run-scoring charts and averages in an otherwise dismal series.
The Yorkshireman has only grown in stature since making his debut and is proving to be one of the most talented youngsters out there.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is another star on the rise. Although his average in the six Tests he has played has been on the high side, he has developed a lot since making his debut last year.
In the recent tour match against Derbyshire, his second innings bowling figures were 6-3-5-1 with similarly impressive figures of 13-3-24-0 in the first. The English conditions are made for his swanky swing bowling, if he can learn how to use them.
Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior (w), Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Liam Plunkett, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler.
Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma and Pankaj Singh.