On current form, India will start as favourites against England in the upcoming five-Test series, starting August 1st. The visitors are sitting atop of the ICC Test rankings for quite some time, having won nine of their last ten series.
On the other hand, England have looked far from being impressive under new skipper Joe Root. They have lost two of their last three series before drawing against Pakistan at home a couple of months ago.
Not surprisingly, many feel this will be India’s best shot to win a Test series in England for the first time since 2007. And former England skipper Allan Lamb is also backing Virat Kohli & Co. to come out on top in the much-awaited series.
“India will start as the favourites going into the series. I expect the conditions to be in their favour as the series unfolds. It has not rained here much in the last few weeks. This will result in wickets being on the drier side, and that should bring the Indian spinners into play,” Lamb told The Times of India.
History and India’s recent overseas record, however, are not in their favour. Since the tour of 2007 when Rahul Dravid led India to a fine victory in the Test series the team has endured an unfortunate time in England.
In 2011, India had gone to England as world number one Test side. However, the ranking and reputation made little difference, as Andrew Strauss and his men inflicted a humiliating 4-0 whitewash upon the then Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side.
Three years later, the margin of the defeat decreased, but there was no end to India’s misery, as England thrashed them 3-1 in the Test series. Moreover, India recently lost the series in South Africa, raising concerns over their potential to deliver in testing overseas conditions.
Lamb, meanwhile, further said he would like to see R Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav in the playing eleven.
“I am impressed with Kuldeep. Yes, Joe Root and a few others did read him in the one-dayers, but I would want to still see him in action in the Tests. He and Ashwin will be a good combination to go with,” said Lamb, who played 79 Tests and 122 ODIs for England.
He also said India would benefit from players who have got county experience. The likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and Ashwin have recently plied their trade in England.
“It’s a big plus. As a bowler, you would know the lengths to bowl to, and as a batsman, you learn to make those minute adjustments on English pitches.”
He concluded by predicting the scoreline for the series, saying: “I would go with a 3-1 scoreline in favour of India.”
The five-Test series will start on August 1.