India vs England: Cricket returns to India after gap of 11 months
Virat Kohli and Joe RootImage source: The Bridge Chronicle

India vs England: Cricket returns to India after gap of 11 months

England won the toss and have opted to bat in the first Test against India at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai

India vs England first Test, starting today (Friday), will mark the reopening of international cricket in India, after a gap of 11 months due to the Covid-19 crisis. India last played international cricket on its home ground when South Africa visited country for a three-match ODI series in March last year but the series was called off amid the outbreak.

Fast forward to the first Test of four match series will see the return of captain Virat Kohli who will brace the middle order, which already has the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant. England is boosted by the return of Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns in the squad.

Talking about India, fresh from their success as opening pair in Australia recently, batsmen Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who shared two half-century stands in four Test innings in India's remarkable series win, will get a long rope in India's Test series against England, captain Virat Kohli said on the eve of the first Test on Thursday.

While Sharma had cemented him place in the opening slot back in the home Tests in 2019, Gill made his debut in Australia on the recent tour and impressed with his strokeplay, and notching scores of 50, 31, 7 and 91. The two added 70 and 71 in the third Test in Sydney. They, however, failed to score big in the two innings of the second Test.

PLAYING XI

India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah

England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(w), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, James Anderson

HEAD TO HEAD

· Overall: 122

· India won: 26

· England won: 47

· Draw: 49

· Tied: 0

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