England were the only team in the previous decade who managed to beat India at home in 2012. Aided by captain Alastair Cook’s batting, Kevin Pietersen’s brilliance and James Anderson’s magic, England defeated a strong Indian team 2-1 in the four-match Test series back then.
The England team again came touring in 2016-17 for a five-match Test series but this time they were relegated to a 0-4 loss. The defeat cost Cook his captaincy and there were many questions raised about England’s performance in the sub-continent. This England team under Joe Root is fresh from a series win in Sri Lanka, where they whitewashed the home side 2-0 in a 2 match Test series.
We at StumpsandBails believe for England to do well against India in their home, these 5 players need to stand up:
#5 Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad on a song is a difficult bowler to handle. He can single-handedly win games for his team on his day. Broad no longer relies on the pitch and the overcast conditions for success. He has established himself as an all-condition bowler. Broad is currently the second-highest wicket-taker for England with 517 Test wickets to his name. The onus of England bowling lies on the broad shoulders of Stuart Broad.
#4 Joe Root
The England captain has been in tremendous form. He stunningly silenced his critics with a Man of the Series performance against Sri Lanka in the 2 match Test series. It will be Root’s 3rd tour to India and arguably his most important tour as England captain. He has played a total of 6 Tests in India scoring 584 runs with a century to his credit. If England to have do well, Root must have a great series.
#3 Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes is undoubtedly the most impactful all-rounder in the modern game. He needs to have a stellar series if England has to dent India in their backyard. Stokes is currently in the best phase of his cricketing career. His batting average is more than 50 in the last couple of years. Stokes’s bowling average is second to just James Anderson when it comes to bowling in the sub-continent in the last two years. A great series for Stokes means England will be better placed to win the series.
#2 James Anderson
James Anderson is no longer an overcast bowling bunny. He has proven his mettle all over the world with his finesse and skills. The 38-year-old veteran keeps getting better with age. He has more than 600 wickets in his kitty and is closing on Anil Kumble to become the 3rd highest wicket-taker in Tests. If Anderson displays the same guile and penetration then England will surely be in the driver’s seat in the series.
#1 Jofra Archer
England teams have often had disciplined pacers who could trouble the batsmen no end. But what they have lacked many times is an X-factor player. Jofra Archer is that bowler. His ability to bowl at a sheer pace irrespective of the conditions makes him a deadly prospect. Archer has a mean short ball as well which he can put to good use against the Indian batting line-up. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood used the short ball relatively well to curtail India’s free-flowing batting style, Archer can go one up on that strategy.