5 Key Indian Players for Test Series against England

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Virat Kohli is shy of only 152 runs from completing 9000 runs in Test cricket

It is again time for the Indian cricket team to don the whites, as they are all set to battle it out against the England cricket team in a five-match Test series. The much-hyped series will commence on January 25, 2023, as the two teams will play against each other at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.  

It will be a contest to watch out for as apart from providing fodder to their intense cricket rivalry that has spanned over the decades, both India and England will be eager to improve their standing in the World Test Championship points table 2023-2025. As of now, India is occupying the second place with 54.16 points while England is struggling with only 15 points and eighth place to its name.

Playing in home conditions, the Indian cricket team will definitely have an edge and their performance can be further enhanced owing to the presence of some stellar and decorated players in the squad. 

While Harry Brook has been ruled out for the series for an indefinite period, Virat Kohli has also made himself unavailable for the first two matches owing to family reasons.

In this article, let’s walk through five players who are likely to play an important role for the Indian team in the Test series against England. 

#5 Mohammed Siraj

It is rare for a national player to achieve a comeback in the purest format of the game following a good performance in the Indian Premier League. However, Mohammed Siraj is one of the selected players to achieve the feat as, after his glorious performance in IPL 2020, he achieved a comeback in red-ball cricket and there has been no looking back for the seamer since then.

Siraj has been a force to reckon with for the Indian team as he has delivered match-winning performances for the side in Whites irrespective of the venue and playing conditions. In just 23 Test matches so far, Siraj has picked up a handsome 68 wickets at an economy rate of 3.68 and an average of 28.2. 

The 29-year-old has undoubtedly found a place in the squad for the five-match Test series against the England cricket team and the odds are in his favor to weave the magic on the 22-yard pitch once again and take India to another crucial win in the longest format of the game. 

#4 Axar Patel

Axar Patel came across as a success story when India last played England in the longest format of the game in the home conditions. England last arrived in India in 2021 for a four-match Test series and the event saw Axar Patel completely outplaying the opposition. The spinner scalped a whopping 27 wickets in three matches at an average of 10.59 and an economy of 2.24 to finish in second place in the wicket-taking list. 

The third Test match between the two sides in Ahmedabad saw the true potential of Axar Patel as he took home the Man of the Match Award after picking up six and five wickets respectively across two innings. The Delhi Capitals star has not received much of a chance outside the Indian soil to play for the Indian team in Whites owing to his injuries and the presence of two stellar and experienced spinners named Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the team.

However, it would be tough for the skipper Rohit Sharma to bench Axar Patel while playing in India as he is known as a home-track bully and his experience and skill set can definitely help India achieve the win comfortably. 

#3 Ravichandran Ashwin

Famous for his intelligence and vast knowledge of the gentlemen’s game, Ravichandran Ashwin is another bowler to find a place in this elite list. The seamer has become a hero of yesteryears in the One Day Internationals and T20 Internationals, but he has still maintained his relevancy in the Test format and his participation in all five matches is almost confirmed.

The five-match Test games will be conducted in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi, and Dharamsala, and all five venues are known for providing good assistance to the spinners. India is famous for its rank turners and there can be no better player than Ashwin to bamboozle the opposition batters in such playing conditions. 

The off-spinner’s exceptional record is a testament to his greatness in red-ball cricket as he finds himself in the list of great bowlers who have 490 wickets to their name in 95 Test matches. Ashwin has an impressive economy rate of 2.76 while his decent batting skills can also aid the Indian team down the order. 

#2 KL Rahul

KL Rahul was the second-highest run-getter for India against South Africa

KL Rahul would be eager to do well in the Test series following a snub in the shortest format of the game despite big names like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli making a comeback in the T20I squad. With Rahul likely to be free from the wicketkeeper duties as India might play KS Bharat for that role, the middle-order star is expected to utilize his full potential. 

India’s last Test series saw KL making a statement by being the second-highest run-getter for India and third in the overall list with 113 runs in two matches at an average of over 37. His international batting records also speak for themselves as the 31-year-old has represented India in a whopping 49 Test matches so far scoring 2755 runs with the help of 15 fifties and eight hundreds at an average of over 33.6. 

The Lucknow Super Giants skipper has shown an excellent form in the past few months irrespective of the format and the Test series against England is likely to be no different as cricket fans might get a treat in the form of a handful of KL-special innings. 

#1 Virat Kohli

There are hardly any modern-day legends who can testify themselves to be a better player in the purest format of the game than Virat Kohli. The former Indian skipper’s dedication and enthusiasm for the red-ball cricket is unmatched and he will easily go down as one of the best Test players in the history books.

Following a lean patch that spanned over three years, Kohli made a comeback last year and there has been no looking back since then. While the Delhi native peaked in the One Day Internationals, the Test format also saw a glimpse of the Vintage Virat. The 35-year-old was the top run-scorer for the Men in Blue against South Africa in a two-match Test series with 172 runs to his name.

His overall record in Test includes a mammoth 8848 runs in 113 matches with an impressive 29 centuries at an average of over 49. The batter is likely to continue his glorious form against England as well when Kohli becomes available from the third test onwards.