After the postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, the focus has now shifted towards the upcoming major project of Team India. Post the conclusion of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, the Virat Kohli-led side will face England in a five-match Test series scheduled in August-September 2021.
Last week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the fixtures and the 20-man squad for the much-awaited red-ball battle against Joe Root & Co. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Hanuma Vihari and Jasprit Bumrah have made their comeback in the outfit after they missed the last home series against the same opponent.
While Jaddu and Hanuma were out of the side due to their respective injuries that occurred during Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, Bumrah had taken leave after the Chennai Test for his marriage with sports anchor Sanjana Ganesan.
Coming back to the forthcoming Test series, the five-match leg starts from August 4 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The Indian side looks much more promising after the return of their star players, and fans would expect a cracker of a series.
But what could be the fate of this battle? Well, former India captain Rahul Dravid, the last Indian skipper to win a Test series in England in 2007, has predicted the scoreline of England versus India series, saying that the tourists have a really good chance this time around.
Dravid said the English bowling attack is remarkable, and they have plenty of options to choose, but the batting is not up to the mark barring their skipper Root, who is a world-class batter.
“I really do think India have a very good chance this time. There’s no question about England’s bowling. Whatever bowling attack England put on the park, especially their seam-bowling attack, is going to be fantastic. They have a lot of players to pick and choose from, and that’s going to be terrific. But if you look at their top six or top seven, you really think of one great batsman, a world-class batsman who is Joe Root,” said Dravid as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
The 48-year-old picked England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes as another crucial batsman in the English team batting order. However, he went on to mention that the contest between Stokes and India’s premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be worth watching.
“Obviously, Ben Stokes is another one, who is a good all-rounder, but for some reason, Ashwin seems to do well against him. And that should be an interesting contest. I know he’s done well against him (Stokes) in India, but it’ll still be an interesting subplot to the series,” the Director of Cricket Operations at National Cricket Academy added.
In the end, Dravid predicted the scoreline stating India has too much experience, and this is their best chance to win the series 3-2.
“But I just think India will be well-prepared, have the confidence from Australia, there’s a lot of belief in the squad. A couple of players have been to England a few times, there’s a lot of experience in the batting order this time around, so this is probably our best chance, maybe say 3-2 to India,” concluded Dravid.