England’s Test captain Joe Root has said that his team will no longer follow the rotation policy. This means all their players who are fit will be available for selection. England introduced the rotation policy to reduce load on players. Due to the current pandemic, cricketers were facing mental and physical stress. Players have to stay inside their bio-bubbles and follow strict protocols.
Here is the playing eleven for England if all players are fit and available for selection:
1. Rory Burns
Burns has been in great form. He has been scoring heavily in the recent domestic season. Also in the recently concluded England and New Zealand series, Burns was England’s best batsman. Hence, he is expected to start as opener in the first test.
2. Zak Crawley
Crawley has been in terrible form off late. But England would like to give Crawley a chance ahead of Dom Sibley. Sibley has been criticized by various experts like Michael Waugh and Shane Warne regarding his batting style. Crawley has a much better technique and has got talent. So England would like to back him.
3. Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow has been phenomenal in white ball format. He is a game changer. Also he has an excellent record against India. Jonny has faced all the Indian bowlers in the past so England should back him to play at number 3.
4. Joe Root (c)
England captain Joe Root will have to lead from the front. He has an amazing record against Indians in both home and away conditions. Joe has not been able to score big in his last few test innings. But he is by far England’s best batsman. Hence, a lot of responsibility will rest on his shoulders.
5. Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali bags a spot in the eleven as the lone spinner. India might be Moeen’s favourite opponent. He has an exceptional record against the Indians. Also his batting ability adds to the depth in England’s batting.
6. Jos Buttler (wk)
Buttler comes in the eleven as a wicket-keeper batsman. He is an out-and-out match winner in the white ball format. But he has not given as many performances in the test arena. But England will back him given the talent he possesses.
7. Ben Stokes
Stokes is undoubtedly one of the greatest fast bowling all-rounders today. His stocks rise even more when he plays in England. He has the ability to change the game with his batting, bowling and fielding. Hence, he will have a crucial role to play in the upcoming series.
8. Sam Curran
Sam Curran was the x-factor due to which Indians were not able to win the series last time. During crunch moment, he took the game away from the Indians. He was also awarded player of the series. Hence, England would like to include him in the squad. His left arm angle could prove to be useful. Indians generally struggle against left arm pacers.
9. Chris Woakes
It is expected that England will make seam and swing friendly conditions. If the pitches suit swing, Chris Woakes would be an amazing choice in the eleven. He is one of the most underrated bowlers today. Woakes can swing the ball both ways. He also bowls consistent lines and lengths which troubles the batsman. England are also known as the team who can collapse at any stage. Hence, his batting ability will be useful in such situations.
10. Jofra Archer (subject to fitness)
Jofra is currently out with an elbow injury. If he is fit to play, he will be the first choice pacer. He has taken the world by storm with his raw pace. But if Jofra is not available, England have an abundance of talent in their bowling resources. They can play Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Stuart Broad or Ollie Robinson.
11. James Anderson
It is unlikely that England will play both Anderson and Broad in the eleven. They might go ahead with Anderson in the first test given his record against Indians. He has decimated the Indian batting lineup whenever they have played against him. In seam and swing conditions, Anderson can dismantle any batting lineup.