After a historic win against Australia at Brisbane’s Gabba, India is ready to host a home Test series to be played against England. They are all set to return to action in February when England visits India. The first two matches are scheduled to take place at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai and the next two matches would be played at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad.
Pitch Analysis: India and England’s teams are arriving in Chennai by Wednesday, however, they will be able to get the first look at the pitch on February 02 after the six-day quarantine. The Chepauk pitch at MA Chidambaram Stadium has come under criticism in the recent past when the last match India vs England was hosted in 2016. The flat surface was criticized by the teams and MS Dhoni was also not happy with the slow nature of the pitch during the 2019 IPL.
Ramesh, who is making this pitch, it’s his first time making a pitch for an international match. As the Chepauk pitch is in Chennai which is very high in temperature, the heat makes the pitch very dry and hard and you will not see any grass on the pitch. Due to which it is batting friendly but when the time passes, like in the second and third ODI innings, the pitch gradually becomes a slow wicket. He claims that it is being made with an English look. As it needs to last five days, there will be grass cover so each team gets an equal chance to score.
Pitch History: As per the past test matches and ODI analysis, it is seen that the team who bats first in the innings usually scores higher runs as the pitch is dry and hard. But as proceeded to the second and third innings, the pitch becomes slow and the runs decrease.
As per records, in the last 5 test match results, India won the match 3 times and it was a draw in the last 2 matches. Even in the last 5 ODI matches, India won three times. India has played 32 test matches on the Chepauk pitch. In these matches, India won 14 matches, lost 6 matches, drawn 11 matches and 1 match is Tied. From the 14 ODIs played by India here, 7 won, faced 5 defeats, and 2 matches abandoned due to rain.
If you check the history of England playing test matches on this pitch, they have won 3 times but lost 5 times. 1 match was a draw. So we can analyze that England did not have a good scoring record on this pitch. However, as claimed by Ramesh that the pitch will be made with an English look and grass-covered, it might be a game-changer.
Possible XI Players: After suffering from injuries in the matches played in Gabba, team India is expecting to have their players back to play against England. The team is expected to arrive in two-part.
#Openers: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma & Shubman Gill
Team India can afford only a maximum of 3 openers, hence these three openers seem to be the best choice. After facing drastic changes during the Australia tour because of injuries, India is expecting to have the best opening partners on the pitch.
#Middle-order: Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara & Virat Kohli (C)
Virushka (Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma) is celebrating the birth of their first child but Virat is expected to be back with the team for the match. As per the previous statistic, 7 batsmen and 2 all-rounders combination seem ideal for Team India vs England, hence these players look like the best fit.
#Wicket-keeper(s): Rishabh Pant & Wriddhiman Saha
It was a surprise from team India when Wriddhiman Saha was played ahead of Rishabh Pant in the first Test match of the Australia tour. As of now, Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant are the only choices and it is yet to be seen who gets a nod for XI players.
#All-rounders: Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin & Ravindra Jadeja
Hanuma Vihari’s performance was brilliant against Australia. Jadeja and Ashwin apart from being the two leading spinners of the squad would also play a major role by giving valuable runs down the order. If in-case Jadeja does not recover and is not available to join the squad, India can think of adding Washington Sundar to the squad as a backup spinner all-rounder.
#Bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami & Umesh Yadav
These bowlers are the first choice of team India. There were multiple players injured in the match in Gabba, it is definite Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah should be back for the England series. The condition of Umesh and Shami is not known yet. If they are unable to make it back for the match, Siraj and Natarajan should get a nod as the third and fourth pacer.