First Test of the five-match series will start from Wednesday
England will face India in the battle to claim number one spot in the rankings in the first of the five-Test series starting from Wednesday in Birmingham.Both teams have already faced each other in three-ODI and three-T20I series, where both teams emerged victorious in one of them.
In the T20I series, Team India emerged as the dominant force with eight-wicket and seven-wicket wins in the first and third game of the series, whereas the home side registered a victory in the second match by five wickets. In the 50-over format, it was the England team who emerged victorious as they claimed wins by 64 runs and eight wickets in the second and third ODI after losing the first one by eight-wicket margin.
In the first Test of the series, the home side will be depending on captain Joe Root and veteran opening batsman Alastair Cook to contribute significantly in the batting department. They will be accompanied by in-form Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, and Jos Buttler.
The all-rounder department will be taken care by Ben Stokes, who will be playing his first Test in more than a year.
In the bowling department, the team will be banking on the experienced pace duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad to make early inroads, and they will be accompanied by young Sam Curran.
The spin department will be taken care by leg-spinner Adil Rashid, whose selection has raised few eyebrows.
For Team India, it will be a great opportunity for them to register an unprecedented series win in England. In the batting department, the team will be heavily relying on captain Virat Kohli to lead from the front and produce much-needed runs for the visitors.
He will be accompanied by Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, and Murali Vijay, who are more than capable of scoring big runs for the team. In the bowling department, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, and Hardik Pandya will take care of the pace attack, whereas it is not certain if the team will go with the fourth seamer in Mohammad Shami or all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
The pitch is expected to be a good one for fast-bowlers, whereas weather is expected to stay fine throughout.