Feb 5: India vs England, 1st Test, Chennai
Pro Tip: Since the start of 2013, India have lost only one home Test in 34 attempts. So, load your team with Indian players.
Our XI: Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah, Jack Leach
Substitutes: Chesteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Dom Bess, Rory Burns
Player availability: England’s Zak Crawley is doubtful after slipping in the nets just two days ahead of the game. Meanwhile, Ollie Pope has been declared fit and is available for this game.
We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma might not be your first pick player when it comes to overseas Tests but in India he averages a staggering 88.33 in 20 innings with eleven 50-plus scores. He has recorded three 100-plus scores in his last six innings in India. Since he is expected to open the batting, expect a big score from him once again.
Vice-captain: Virat Kohli
Like Rohit Sharma, Kohli also has been a prolific run-scorer at home, averaging 68.42 in 39 Tests. He has scored three 200-plus scores in his last nine home Tests.
Joe Root: Fresh from his Man of the Series performance in Sri Lanka where he recorded scores of 228 and 186, expect Joe Root to carry on that form to his 100th Test too. His average of 57.21 against spin in Asia shows he is an extremely good player of spin. His overall batting average of 54.13 in Asia is the second best for an English player just behind David Gower.
R Ashwin: He had a prolific series against Australia, where he picked up 12 wickets in three innings. At home, he takes a five-wicket haul once in every four games, which is among the best in the world: he has 21 five-wicket hauls in 83 home Test innings.
Ben Stokes: The current number one-ranked Test all-rounder Ben Stokes is a must-have in your team. He kickstarted his last India Test tour with a century and had a memorable series where he scored 345 runs and picked up a five-wicket haul too.
Jasprit Bumrah: India’s pace spearhead has picked up only 17 wickets in his ten innings since 2020 as compared to his previous ten innings where he picked up 28 wickets, but back him to return to his best. Although this is his first home Test match, he has terrific first-class numbers at home – he has picked up three five-wicket hauls in his last five games.
Jofra Archer: Archer has played just 11 games but has picked up 38 wickets. He has wealth of experience in Indian conditions having played IPL for three seasons and picking up a phenomenal 46 wickets. Although playing in whites is a different ball game, we are backing him to make an impact.
- Rishabh Pant can replace Jos Buttler
- One of Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav or Washington Sundar can be selected depending on the playing XI
- Jasprit Bumrah and Joe Root are the alternate choices for captaincy