5 England players to watch out for in India-England Tests
Updated - Nov 8, 2016 6:05 pm
After toiling out against Bangladesh in a drawn series, England will be geared up for the ‘real sub-continental’ challenges when they take on top-ranked India I the first test at the Saurashtra Cricket stadium, Rajkot. England has been looking forward to this series quite eagerly, to be honest. But, there is no questioning over the fact that the visitors begin as the underdogs tomorrow. There is good reason to believe India will have it easy. They have looked near invincible at home since the start of the last season
Indian bowling attack will throw the biggest challenge in front of the opposition. Head to head battles should boost their confidence a bit as they happen to be the only team to have beaten India on their home turf in recent time, having achieved the feat back in 2012 when they beat the hosts 2-1 riding on the heroics of Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar.
However, this time around they don’t have Swanny and Panesar around. Another worrying fact is the weak links that the side has in terms of inexperience and under-performance. But, the current team has a fresh look with the inclusion of few young and *old* names and probably this ignites the unpredictability factor making us think about the players who could surprise India in the upcoming days.
Haseeb Hameed, the teenage sensation from Lancashire, is the most exciting name in the English touring party. The 19-year-old batsman of Indian origin is all set to make his debut and will open in the first test at Rajkot. While, for the Indians, he may be an unknown name, those in the English circle are quite aware of the talent he possesses. It would not be an overstatement if we say that Haseeb if he is able to capitalise the opportunity in the upcoming Test, may turn out as the surprise weapon in the batting department.
His rise has been meteoric and the domestic numbers he has to back his reputation are simply outstanding. But, above all, it his playing style that proves to be the most favourable factor for him. In the age of the modern day hard hitting, the right-hander mostly relies on placement and timing than to try and smack the ball. His wristy style of play will exactly be the thing which may help him neutered the Indian spin challenge.
“If Test cricket survives and thrives, then here’s a boy who was born to open the batting in it. I just hope the game lasts long enough for him to play it,” said Mick Newell, England selector, Nottinghamshire supremo. This is what his former county boss thinks of the young cricketer!