In recent years, England have emerged as a formidable force in Test cricket, revolutionizing the longest format with their aggressive style of play. Notable victories against New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa, coupled with a 2-2 draw against Australia in the Ashes 2023, underscore their prowess.
India pose a formidable challenge
While England have proven their mettle against various opponents, the upcoming series against India in India presents a unique and challenging test, particularly in spin-friendly conditions. Ben Stokes will lead a side with limited experience in such environments, making this series a crucial and demanding encounter.
Nasser Hussain singles out the pivotal player for England
Now speaking to Sky Sports Crickey, former captain Nasser Hussain emphasized the significance of Joe Root, highlighting his excellence as a player of spin. Root’s pivotal role in England’s last bilateral series win in India makes him a key player, especially if the pitches offer assistance to the spinners. In the 2021 four-match Test series against India, Root scored an impressive 368 runs, including a memorable double hundred in the victorious game in Chennai.
“If it spins, then Root becomes England’s most important player,” Hussain said.
Strong batting lineup
Hussain points out that besides Root, England possesses other strong players of spin, including Ben Duckett and Captain Stokes. This batting lineup, equipped with skills to tackle spin, suggests that England won’t merely be defensive but proactive, looking to build on their previous success in India.
“Duckett as well,, also Stokes is a magnificent player of spin and their mindset as well. As we saw in Pakistan, where different pitches, did not spin much at all. Low, slow, and they get 500 in a day or whatever. So, don’t expect what we saw last time where batters are just pushing and prodding,” the 55-year-old concluded.
In the previous series in 2021, England surprised with a 1-0 lead, but India mounted a strong comeback to clinch the series 3-1. The upcoming five-game series commencing on January 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad promises an intriguing clash of cricketing styles.