The England team has announced a squad of 16 players for the upcoming Test series (first two Tests in Chennai) against India.
England is currently playing their second test match against Sri Lanka.
England’s ace allrounder Ben Stokes, who had missed matches against Pakistan due to his father’s illness, will make a come-back in Test cricket after his long lay-off.
In-form batsman Joe Root will lead the side after finishing the Test series against Sri Lanka.
Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, and Sam Curran, currently part of the Sri Lanka Test series, have been rested for the first two Tests.
Young, exciting batsman Ollie Pope, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury, will travel to India. He will be added to the squad, subject to fitness.
Jofra Archer will join England’s experienced fast-bowling duo of Broad-Anderson to form a lethal pace bowling attack.
Rory Burns, who had missed the Sri Lankan tour, will join the England squad after spending time with his family.
Jos Buttler will return home after the first Test due to the rest policy adopted by the England cricket board.
According to this rotation/rest policy, the board wants players to have enough breaks/rests in-between tours, especially those who play all formats of the game. They want these players to be fully fit both physically and mentally for the upcoming T20 World Cup and Ashes.
Ben Foakes has been preferred over Bairstow as a back-up wicket-keeper batsman.
Dom Bess and Jack Leach are the two lead spinners selected for the tour. Both players have been impressive by taking 5-wicket-haul in either of the innings in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
They will be hoping to continue this good form against India too. Craig Overton will be sent back home after the Sri Lankan series.
England Squad: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (only for the first Test), Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
In addition to the main squad, six reserves will also travel alongside. In this COVID era, teams usually carry extra players as reserves and net-bowlers. These players can be added to the squad in case if any leading player gets injured or becomes out of form.
Saqib Mahmood is a young prospect coming from great performances in England’s domestic seasons. He is a possibility to be added for the 3rd and 4th Test.
Reserves: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi
England looks a full-strength side on paper. They only lack an experienced batter in the middle order to support Root, Stokes, and Buttler. Their opening duo of Burns-Sibley tends to become shaky at times, but it is a fact in this modern era that not all teams have a well-settled opening pair.
Despite being high in confidence (after defeating Aussies), India will still have to be careful with this strong England side.
The England players are expected to arrive in India on 27th January. They will complete their 3-4 days of quarantine and start their practice at the beginning of February. England will play the first Test on 5th February.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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