The Indian cricket team will take on Joe Root’s England in the first Test of the four-match series starting on Friday, February 5 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The upcoming Chennai Test will mark the resumption of international cricket in India after a gap of more than 11 months due to the global pandemic. India last hosted South Africa in a three-match ODI series which was eventually called-off following the virus outbreak in the country in March last year.
Team India will be boosted by the return of their talismanic captain Virat Kohli, who had returned home after India's first Test against Australia in Adelaide to attend the birth of his baby daughter, Vamika.
Meanwhile, both India and England head into the mouth-watering series with positive momentum as the hosts had registered a historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia while the Englishmen thrashed Sri Lanka 2-0 in a two-match Test series in the Island nation.
Interestingly, this is the final series for both the sides in the current ICC World Test Championship.
New Zealand have already qualified for the final of the ICC World Test Championship and both India and the England cricket team have to battle it out to qualify for the summit clash to be played at the iconic Lord’s on June 18-22.
For India to qualify for the final, Virat Kohli’s men need to win by a margin of 2-0, 2-1, 3-0, 3-1 or 4-0.
On the other hand, the visitors need to win 3-0, 3-1 or 4-0 in order to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
Interestingly, no touring team has won three Tests in a series in India since the mighty West Indies side in 1983.
India vs England 1st Test full squads
India Test squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (Wicket-keeper), Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Wriddhiman Saha
England Test squad: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root(captain), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (Wicket-keeper), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Ben Foakes, Olly Stone, Dominic Bess
India vs England 1st Test predicted XI
India predicted playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (Wicket-keeper), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma
England predicted playing XI: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root (Captain), Ben Stokes, Dan Lawrence, Jos Buttler (Wicket-keeper), Dom Bess, James Anderson, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad
Where to watch India vs England 1st Test live?
The India vs England first Test will be telecast live at 9:30 AM IST on Star Sports 1 HD and Star Sports 3 HD, along with the corresponding SD channels, starting on Friday, February 5.
Live streaming of the IND vs ENG 1st Test will be available on Disney+ Hotstar.
For India vs England odds and betting, visit Sportsbet.io and look for Test Series India vs England.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Adrian Dennis