England head coach Chris Silverwood

Indian Stars England Must Do Their Homework on Before Winter Tour

The true mark of a great test or one-day international cricket team is whether they can bring home the bacon on the road, rather than just racking up wins on their home grounds.

When it comes to tricky tours, India is undoubtedly one of the most challenging to make, with exceptionally talented players in their element, making any touring bowler or batsmen uncomfortable at the crease.

That is the fate that awaits the England team this February. Here are the Indian super star players that coach Chris Silverwood must have his men primed to face up to.

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Ravichandran Ashwin

Historically one of the hardest things that touring England teams have to deal with in India is the relentless heat and the fact that there is little in Indian pitches for pace or swing bowlers, meaning that spin often comes to the fore as the deciding factor in many tests and ODI series.

For a team that relies so heavily on people like Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer, it will be down to unheralded spinners such as Dominic Bess to restrict and strangle the talented Indian batting line-up, in order to ensure that when sports fans go to look at what sport is on today, they are not left disappointed to see England skittled after just three or four days of play.

India, however, have no such worries, thanks in large part to them counting one of the best spinners in the world as a member of their squad.

Ever since his inclusion in the Indian test side in 2011, Ashwin has developed from being a T20 specialist to a revered test operator, whose finger spin deliveries have propelled him to the top of the world bowling rankings. His rise to stardom is also thanks in part to the excellent bowling partnership he has fostered with the left-armer, Jadeja, with the two terrorising batters working in tandem. There is also the fact that if Ashwin does not do damage with the ball, he can do just as much with the bat, having recently seen his side home to a famous draw in the 3rd test against Australia.

India’s Ravindra Jadeja celebrates his half century during the ICC World Cup, Semi Final at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Ravindra Jadeja

Already mentioned in the previous section for being the perfect foil for Ashwin, Jadeja is the sort of unorthodox left-arm spinner that every captain dreams of having in their arsenal.

Joe Root’s men will no doubt be hoping that the thumb injury he recently suffered against Australia will keep him out of action when England visit India.

Like his partner in spin, Jadeja is also very handy with the bat, averaging over 35 in tests and 32 in ODIs.

Ajinkya Rahane

Virat Kohli is one of the greatest players to ever don pads, so filling his shoes as captain of India must be a nerve-wracking experience for any man.

Not that it seemed to phase Ajinkya Rahane Down Under, with the revered batsman showing his grit and determination in the face of a hostile Australian pace attack.

With the Australians finding it hard to skittle him on their lightning-fast tracks, he may prove a stubborn thorn in England’s side when February comes around. Kohli will also be watching on carefully, aware that his stint as Indian captain could be under threat.

Jasprit Bumrah

While India are always strong in the spin and batting departments, their downfall can sometimes come with their pace attack not being up to scratch.

With injuries felling tried and tested figures such as Ishant Sharma, it is now down to men like Jasprit Bumrah to lead the Indian charge.

What makes Bumrah so dangerous is the unique nature of his bowling action, his arm turning into something of a slingshot that has already bamboozled many of the world’s top batsmen. With England’s historic struggles against slingy actions, such as Lasith Malinga’s, they should be very wary of Bumrah’s array of threatening pace and swing deliveries.

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