England vs India: Five questions we need answering
With the England vs India series getting underway this morning, we look at five questions for the series ahead.
1. Is Joe Root the right man to be Captain?
So far, Joe Root has struggled with the captaincy, he has been defensive with his field choices; he hasn’t been vocal enough on the field; he has failed to give support to Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad when they have struggled with their line and length; he seems to struggle to know how to approach the senior players and above all his batting seems to be affected, he has made only two centuries since becoming Captain.
He has had plenty of fifties which he has not converted which is becoming an issue for him. Perhaps he may benefit from giving up the captaincy with Jos Buttler a potential adventurous replacement.
2. Can Adil Rashid do the job with the red ball?
The selection of Adil Rashid has been a controversial one, not least as he has not played red ball Cricket in over a year. He has been superb in the shorter form of the game and has become a mainstay of the limited overs team but the question remains as to whether he can do the job with the red ball?
He has rarely got an opportunity in the longer format of the game, he got an opportunity on the tour of Bangladesh and India three winters ago but was replaced by Mason Crane for the Ashes series the following summer. Red ball Cricket is quite different to the white ball game as it requires more patience and skill and to take the game to the opposing batsmen rather than waiting for them to come to you.
3. Can Virat Kohli prove he is the best batsman in the world at the moment by getting runs in England?
Virat Kohli has notoriously struggled in England and English conditions and James Anderson famously had his number the last time the two teams met in England in 2014. Kohli has since scored stacks of runs everywhere else and has been a huge part of India becoming the number one ranked team in the world. However, he will want to prove that he is the best batsman in the world by scoring runs in England and proving his doubters wrong.
4. Will Ben Stokes get back to his best?
Ben Stokes has struggled since he came back from injury in the ODI series and has yet to show signs he is back to his best. At his devastating best, Stokes is one of the first names on the team sheet as he is one of the best all-rounders in the game. Since returning from injury in the final T20 against India, he has made just one score of 50+ which was the slowest 50 in several years. He also has a score of 90no in a domestic T20 game for Durham. He is struggling, and it remains to see whether he can get back to form.
5. Is Jos Buttler wasted at No.7?
Jos Buttler is one of England’s best batsmen and the question needs to be asked if he is wasted at number seven and whether perhaps he might be better served further up the order where he might perform better. The argument will be that at number seven, he will be left batting with the tail and therefore may not be able to bat big as he is left with players that aren’t batsmen per se. Therefore, he might thrive if put up the order as he would be batting with someone who bats at the other end so he can focus on his own game rather than having to tee off almost immediately to guide his team to a decent total in the absence of a decent batsman.
What questions do you have as we head into the series between England and India? Let us know in the comments below.