India edged out England to win their T20 series 2-1, thanks to some jaw-dropping displays from batsmen and Kuldeep Yadav bamboozling efforts in the first match.
With the start of ODIs tomorrow and Test series on August 1, India doesn’t face the stern test they would have anticipated at the beginning of the season, when the ball would swing and seam around.
Also, England is experiencing one of the hottest summers in years, with temperature rising above 30 degrees Celsius, making conditions similar to those on the subcontinent. As such, the challenge of adapting to conditions is out of the equation.
In 2013, when India won the Champions Trophy, the pitches aided the spinners, and Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja wreaked havoc. This time around, India has deadly wrist-spin duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Yadav bringing the x-factor in the middle overs – and England are not traditionally good players of wrist spin.
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India has become a powerhouse in ODI cricket, and their recent run of victories in South Africa must have given them truckloads of confidence and momentum.
The conditions also mean limiting the effectiveness of English pacers, especially for the Tests which will be played in August given the wear and tear on the pitch. And this brings into play the Indian spinners, who are much more suited to bowling on the spin-friendly surfaces than their English counterparts.
Even Yadav, if picked, will be a potent option given his wrong’un has made life difficult for batsmen in his short career.
The five-match series will test Indian fitness, mental strength, and perseverance. If the touring fast bowlers stay fit and the batsmen put up decent scores, they will leave UK shores on a high.