India will lock horns against England for a five-match Test series that will begin at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on August 4th. After facing a comprehensive defeat in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the hands of New Zealand, a lot of questions have been raised about India’s team combination.
India went in with five bowlers which consisted of two spinners. Naturally with conditions favoring swing bowling, the spinners as well as the seam-based pace attack struggled to penetrate the opposition batting.
India’s batting has had its own struggles in England, with a number of players’ places in the team reportedly under the scanner. Although there are quite a few issues with the Indian team at the moment, here are three bold predictions for this enthralling series.
#3 Shardul Thakur to replace one of the three frontline India pacers
India’s three-pronged pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma has enjoyed a great time bowling together in overseas conditions over the past couple of years. They played a crucial role in India winning their first-ever Test series Down Under in 2018-19.
However, there was a notable decline in their output during the WTC final and it cost India dearly. Ishant looked rusty and Bumrah was far from his best. In conditions that supported swing bowling, India’s two premier pacers struggled to find any help off the wicket, with only Shami remotely threatening the Kiwi batsmen.
Shardul Thakur has been touted as one of the names to make a surprise entry into India’s playing XI. He had an excellent performance Down Under at the Gabba Test where he picked up seven wickets. Thakur was also brilliant with the bat, scoring an important 67 in the first innings.
Virat Kohli has been vocal about how badly India are missing a seaming all-rounder in Tests with Hardik Pandya not being fully fit to bowl at full throttle. However, India might just groom Thakur into that role and it could be the one missing piece in the jigsaw that could see India dominate England.