England and India will kick off the second leg of World Test Championship (WTC) with a five-match Test series. The highly anticipated series gets underway tomorrow, August 4th in Nottingham. India does not have a fancy record in England, having lost the last three series in the UK. However, the last two series have been very competitive with Virat Kohli’s men challenging England to the core. Can they go a step further and claim a rare series win ? Let’s see what former cricket greats think about this?
The former England skipper Alastair Cook has backed the home team to emerge victorious. Cook feels Indian batsmen will find it hard in the swinging conditions of England.
“I would be more confident with Ben Stokes in the England side, so that changes it a lot. But with India being on tour and in the bubble situation for so long – they arrived in early June for the World Test Championship final – they will find it quite hard. Given the moving ball, England will always fancy their chances against this India batting line-up. I think England will score just enough runs and win the series, with one of the Tests heavily affected by rain”.
Prediction: England 3-1 India.
Another England skipper Michael Vaughan has put his money behind India to claim the series. Vaughan feels this is India's best chance to win a series in England as the hosts don't have a full-strength squad at disposal.
“I don’t like saying this, but India have got the best chance that they will ever have of winning in the UK. There’s no Ben Stokes, no Jofra Archer and no Chris Woakes to start. England’s Test team has been, if not in turmoil, then a little stop-start for the past year or so. And after the series defeat by New Zealand there are a lot of players under pressure. India have got a powerhouse of a batting line-up, an incredible bowling line-up with all the variations.”
Prediction: England 1-3 India.
Former England batsman and batting coach Mark Ramprakash highlighted the inexperience in the England batting lineup. He said the team is highly dependent on Joe Root and once the skipper is dismissed, the batting looks prone to a collapse. He further lauded the Indian team and added the series win over Australia must have sent their confidence over the moon.
“England’s batting looks brittle – they struggle to make big runs consistently – and there is a lack of experience at the top of the order, with the exception of captain Joe Root. India have proved they are a top-class side, particularly with that amazing come-from-behind series win in Australia last winter. Can they also win in England? They are certainly highly motivated. England are clearly concerned more with one-day cricket at the moment – their players have very little first-class cricket since that New Zealand series defeat in June – so my money is on India”.
Prediction: England 1-2 India.
Phil Tufnell, former England spinner feels England will find it tough against India. However, he backed the hosts to escape a series defeat and win two games.
“I’m really looking forward to this series because there will be some great players on show.I think there’s going to be a bit of an edge to this series – I can just feel it. England are going to struggle but I’m still going to back them to avoid defeat.”
Prediction: England 2-2 India.