Team India are currently gearing up to take on England in a five match Test series at their home. This will be the senior side’s first assignment since the grand World Test Championship Final against New Zealand in June where Virat Kohli’s ended up on the losing side. The Test series will kick off a new cycle of the World Test Championship for both the nations.
India have already beaten England in the longest format of the sport this year. After losing the first Test in Chennai, India defeated England by a 4-1 margin during the series with the likes of Rishabh Pant and Ravichandran Ashwin wreaking havoc. Going into this particular series, England will have the home advantage.
India will also be haunted by their past as they haven’t been able to pocket a Test series there since 2007 when they won under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. The last time India were in England was in 2018 when they ended up losing 4-1 in the red-ball format.
This time, however, they arrive as a much more formidable unit. Much has already been said about India’s potent batting lineup and depth. The country has traditionally always been strong in the spin department and with Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja leading the unit, there are no doubts surrounding it.
India also have a world-class fast bowling department, an area of the game they haven’t always excelled at in its cricket history. Although the team has genuine fast bowlers in Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj, they haven’t selected a swing bowler like Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the tour. Bhuvi is someone who could’ve made the most of the swinging conditions on offer in England’s pitches.
“We have all the match winners. The conditions are really difficult in England. I feel that India need a swing bowler, because with the Dukes ball you should know how to swing it. You have got fast bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma. We need someone like Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying by Times of India.
“He (Bhuvneshwar) is the guy who swings the ball. Bhuvi is an experienced bowler. And if he is fit, he should definitely be part of the squad and given an opportunity. India need someone experienced there (in England) like Bhuvi,” he further added.
The lack of a swing bowler was felt especially during the WTC Final against New Zealand where the pacers didn’t have as much of an impact as they’d have wanted. It remains to be seen whether the same script plays out during the five-match Test series or whether India can figure out a workaround.