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India vs England 2021: Virat Kohli vs James Anderson & Other Key Battles To Watch Out For

India vs England 2021: Virat Kohli vs James Anderson & Other Key Battles To Watch Out For

India will clash with England in the big four-match Test series starting in Chennai from the 5th of February. The high pressure series assumes greater significance as a comprehensive win for either team would guarantee them a place in the final of the World Test Championship at Lord's in June. There is no dearth of superstars in both the units which makes for an intriguing encounter when the battle resumes on Friday. We look at three key battles to watch out for in the match.

India will clash with England in the big four-match Test series starting in Chennai from the 5th of February. The high pressure series assumes greater significance as a comprehensive win for either team would guarantee them a place in the final of the World Test Championship at Lord's in June. There is no dearth of superstars in both the units which makes for an intriguing encounter when the battle resumes on Friday.

We look at three key battles to watch out for in the match.

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Virat Kohli vs James Anderson

Virat Kohli would be fresh and raring to go. The Indian captain has an excellent record at home with 3558 runs in 39 Tests including 13 hundreds. His average of 68.42 in India is the highest for any batsman in the country in history. He has a good record against England against whom he has an average of 49.06 with 5 Test centuries in 19 matches. Kohli was the highest scorer on England's last tour of India in 2016 when he amassed 655 runs in the five-match series.

Kohli's battle with the highest wicket-taking pacer in Test cricket history could define the outcome of the series. James Anderson is the most successful (in terms of wickets taken) bowler against India in Test cricket with 110 dismissals in 27 matches at an average of 25.98. His numbers on the flat tracks in India are also quite decent with 26 wickets in 10 Tests at 33.46 apiece. Anderson has troubled Kohli with the out-swinger in England and got him to play and drive inducing the edge outside the off stump on a number of occasions.

Will Anderson be able to repeat those heroics in India? It will also be fascinating to see how he bowls with the old ball and whether the veteran fast bowler can reverse swing in hot and sultry conditions in Chennai.

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Rohit Sharma vs Stuart Broad

Rohit Sharma had a sensational debut as Test opener in 2019 where he piled up a colossal 556 runs in just 5 Tests (6 innings) at an average of 92.66 and strike rate of 75.95 including three hundreds. Rohit can be destructive in India if not dismissed early in the innings. He has the ability to score big hundreds at a very high strike rate dictating the course of the match to the opposition bowlers.

Stuart Broad was magnificent against Sri Lanka in Galle in unhelpful conditions. He has an excellent record against India with 70 wickets in 20 matches at 25.67. However, he would want to improve his numbers in India (10 wickets in 6 Tests) and make an impression with the new ball. Broad bowls a good line and length in the corridor of uncertainty and could trouble Rohit in the first 10-15 overs.

It would be fascinating to see whether the Indian opener goes after the English seamer and attacks him in the initial couple of hours. Rohit is an excellent puller of the ball and Broad is not shy of using the bouncer - an intriguing battle awaits!

Joe Root vs R Ashwin

This is the clash that will decide the difference between a par England total and a potentially match-winning one. Root is by far the best batsman from England on the current tour. He has a great record in the sub-continent including in India where he has scored 584 runs in 6 Tests at an average of 53.09 with one hundred and 5 fifties. The England captain is a fantastic player of spin and his battle with R Ashwin in the middle overs could well define the outcome of the match and the series.

Ashwin is India's greatest match-winner with the ball in Test cricket. He is the main reason for India's dominance at home in the last 7-8 years. He has several tricks up his sleeve from the conventional off-spinner to the carrom ball to the googly and will look to get Root early in the innings. Ashwin has picked 254 wickets in 43 Tests at an average of 22.8 in India and is capable of running through any line-up on his day.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking