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England vs India, 1st Test: The problems Joe Root’s side needs to fix

England will have to pull their socks up should they want to win against the Indians.

Sam Curran of England
England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Hosts England will be eager to arrest their Test slide and get back to business when they take on India in the upcoming 5-match Test series against India, starting August 1. Joe Root’s men will be wary of the Indian side that has played some excellent brand of cricket. Therefore, England needs to produce their best game in order to stop India from making any inroads.

The English team is in a spot of bother when it comes to Test format, given that they have won once in last nine attempts. Joe Root’s side hasn’t won a single series and in May, they even struggled against Pakistan at home at Lord’s to lose the match. Although they came back in the 2nd Test, failing to taste success at home was seen as a set-back.

India and England played two T20Is and three ODI matches. After the ODI series win, England might have the momentum they needed, but they need to fix several key issues going into the Test series. And that’s the only possible way to get some light in the space of darkness that have loomed for them since the 2017-18 Ashes.

1. England need to solve batting at the top

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook of England bats. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The home team need to find the best player who can partner veteran Alastair Cook. Is Keaton Jennings the best option? Or should Jonny Bairstow be given the license to open with the southpaw? These are serious questions which England management will need to think and select the Playing XI on that basis.

England need runs atop which has been a serious issue for them. In the Ashes, the pair of Mark Stoneman and Alastair Cook never got going together. They averaged just 21.44 as a pair across 9 innings in the Ashes. Stoneman scored a couple of the fifties and Cook had that one innings of 244, but the Aussies created holes every time they set out on the field.

Against New Zealand too, the pair once again struggled. Cook, in particular, looked terrible against Trent Boult and Co. Against Pakistan Stoneman was dropped for the 2nd Test and Jennings got one chance where he scored 29. Should Bairstow be a real shot atop? He comes in at number 5, but with Ben Stokes set to feature now, he could well be asked to open.

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