IND vs END, 1st Test: England's Expected Playing 11 against India
India vs England 1st Test Match

IND vs ENG, 1st Test: India and England are all set to lock horns against each other in a five-match Test series. It will be a home series for the Men in Blue, and the Rohit Sharma-led team will be looking to continue their dominance against the Three Lions in home test matches. On the other hand, the British would be looking to avenge their previous 3-1 series defeat in 2021 against the hosts in the subcontinent.

Ever since Brendon Mccullum was brought in as the head coach of the England test team in 2022, the Three Lions have not been defeated in any home or away test series, as they have won four series and drawn three test series under the guidance of the former New Zealand Wicket Keeper Batsman. It would be interesting to see how England’s Bazball works in the tricky Indian spin conditions.

The first test match of the five-match Test series will be played at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium from the 25th of January to the 29th of January. After the first match, Visakhapatnam will play host to the second test match between the two teams between February 2 and 6, and the third test match will be played in the city of Rajkot between February 15 and 19. The final two test matches of the series will take place in Ranchi (February 23–27) and Dharamshala (7 March–11 March).

Talking about the visitor’s playing 11 for the first test match against the Men in Blue, Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett are expected to open the innings against the hosts. Both of them don’t have a good record against India, and they would like to change that in the five-match series against the hosts.

Vice-Captain Ollie Pope is expected to bat at number three. Just like the openers, Pope doesn’t have a good record against India either, so he would like to improve his performance and help his side win the five-match test series. The former skipper of the English team, Joe Root, will occupy the number four position in the batting order. He’s the most experienced and the best batter of the Britishers against India, as he has an outstanding average of 50.10 in India, and he would be looking to trouble the Men in Blue bowlers and guide the youngster with his experience against the hosts. He can chip in with his part-time off-spin bowling as well, so India would have to watch out for Joe Root.

The Three Lions skipper and All-Rounder Ben Stokes will come in to bat at number five after Joe Root. Stokes and Brendon Maccullum have dramatically turned this England squad into one that is extremely difficult to beat because of their Bazball approach and the success it has achieved. But the real test of Bazball begins in the five-match series against India, so it remains to be seen for how long the Three Lions remain undefeated in a test series.

Jonny Bairstow is likely to take the wicket, keeping gloves against the Indians, but the option of playing Ben Foakes is available for the English management as well. If Jonny Bairstow plays, then he will bat at number six.

Talking about the bowling, Jack Leach and young spinner Rehan Ahmed are surely expected to play, but considering the flat nature of the Hyderabad pitch, the Britishers won’t shy away from the prospect of fielding three seamers in the playing 11 for the first match.  If three seamers do end up playing, then the trio of James Anderson, Mark Wood, and Ollie Robinson are expected to complete the bowling department of the British. Experienced fast bowler James Anderson would be the leader of the Three Lions bowling unit.

England’s probable playing XI in the first Test against India:

Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Joe Root, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes (C), Jonny Bairstow / Ben Foakes (WK), Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed, James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, and Mark Wood

England’s Test squad against India

Ben Stokes (captain), Rehan Ahmed, Dan Lawrence, James Anderson, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Shoaib Bashir, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, and Mark Wood

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