England vs India, Tests: Visitors need to address key issues

England vs India, Tests: Visitors need to address key issues

Here is what the Indians will be hoping to address as the first Test begins.

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

India is the number one Test side in the world and despite sitting atop, they know they have work to do in certain aspects if they want results overseas. The Virat Kohli-led side gave a good account of themselves against South Africa earlier this year, although they were left caught at times.

With the 5-match Test series against England starting from August 1, the Indian cricket team will be seeking a revival of sorts and learn from the happenings. Addressing key issues is the main task in a long summer ahead.

After the ODI series loss, it’s time the Test team stands up and takes charge from the word go. India will be determined on how they win the sessions and progress day by day. The idea will be to not repeat mistakes seen against South Africa or the one seen in the warm-up tie against Essex.

Kohli will believe he has the side to do the job and stop England from gaining ascendancy.

1. India’s top order in a spot of bother

Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane
Murali Vijay of India celebrates his century with teammate Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The key task for Murali Vijay will be to fend off the advances of England bowlers with the new ball and absorb the pressure. Vijay has to do what he does best- leave the ball outside the off-stump. It was missing against South Africa and low scores followed.

He managed just 102 runs in South Africa earlier this year. When one looks at his dismissals there was a pattern. He often looked to attack half-volleys and the cover-drives ended with him being caught behind. He was out chasing the ball thrice in that series.

What made Vijay stick and grind out runs in 2014, was being patient. He watched the ball like a hawk and had all the time in the world. Perhaps the century against Afghanistan and the fifty in the warm-up match will help him set the basics right.

Pujara, at number three, is the issue. He has struggled in 2018 and the technique looks missing. Although he played County cricket in England recently, he hasn’t quite got the hang. Pujara’s main task will be to hang in there and tire the English bowlers.