Test for Team India begins this June ’14.
Indian Test players are set to have sleepless nights after the lucrative, enjoyable IPL, with another England tour just around the corner. This time Indian fans have more to worry,
raison d’etre being for the first time since 1986 neither of the Greats Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganuly or V.V.S Laxman will be in the squad to face the swing, seam and movement of the English bowlers. Hitting on the rise, across the line is what Indian players been doing since March with the ball barely climbing to their shoulder. Coming July it will be a complete turn of scenario for Indian batsmen with the ball expected to do the talking in the swinging, seaming conditions. While the potential of the Indian team to win Test matches outside Asia is questionable after a series of losses(last time winning an overseas test series Vs New Zealand in 2008), the England team, after 5-0 ashes debacle, is not in a great place either.
English camp has gone through a plethora of issues in a past few months, Trott hustling back to England after first test, Swann retiring mid way through the series, involuntary premature retirement of their star batsman KP(ostensibly to remedy all the ills off the field), to name a few. If the on field issues were not enough calls for changes in the coaching staff exacerbated the situation and they have found one after 3 months of hunting and after that they have sacked their full time Test batting consultant Graham Gooch.
So, the twain have had their share of problems in a past few months, in spite of it we are set to have, as they say, a cracking contest on our hands. In cricket it is always in the difficult tours and series that great players are segregated by the ordinary ones. It is an opportunity for many youngsters to prove their mettle in test cricket be it Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Joe Root, James Taylor, Eoin Morgan. For Indians it will be a test as to how quickly they can adapt to the conditions, as has always been the case, and especially for openers because in the overseas tours, if we look at the records, whenever the openers have done well it has always rubbed well onto the other players.
Another dimension to this 5 Test match series, apart from the unenviable position of the twain, is the popularity of the Test matches in this T20 generation. These kind of series between the heavyweights is certainly a booster to the popularity of Test cricket and let us hope best and archaic form of cricket prevails.
The series includes 5 test matches, 5ODIs and an only T20 between the two on this long tour. Click here for the fixtures.