England Resurgence Under Stokes
Ben Stokes being lauded for his approach thus far, while it’s also freed up Joe Root to focus on his batting without added responsibility. England scored quicker than any series since the 2005 Ashes when hosting the Black Caps, with their 4.54 an over a very strong rate, and even taking just their three first innings, they still went at 4.36, so India are going to have to bowl them out quickly to avoid a big total.
We’re yet to see what the hosts are like when batting first, and this England side are still in their relative infancy when compared to this established India side. Indeed, the visitors have won 10 of their last 12 test series. However, that run goes back to when they last travelled to England in 2018, a series they lost 4-1.
England To Win
This will be the first time they haven’t lost the Pataudi Trophy since 2007, and despite their 2-1 lead in this series, they’ve won just four of their last 19 tests in England. What’s more, those two series defeats from the last 12 for India have come in two of their last three away from home, so there’s an argument the hosts have the momentum at the moment.
Sam Billings has been drawn into the squad to replace Ben Foakes following a positive Covid test, while Mayank Agarwal has come in for Rohit Sharma for the same reason, while an injury for KL Rahul is another big blow for the travellers. Agarwal wasn’t at his best in the last series against Sri Lanka, averaging just 19.66 from his three innings, while his IPL form has been questionable on his debut season as Captain of the Punjab Kings.
While India boast a strong test record, there’s some serious unity in the England camp at the moment and having played as recently as Monday, they’re more likely to hit the ground running. Fine margins and teetering sessions may determine this test, and we’ll side with the hosts at evens to carry on their good form and draw the series.
ENGLAND TO WIN
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