England will have a swift chance to avenge their 3-1 defeat to India in an away Test series earlier this year. That defeat had put England out of the running for the Test Championship final. They can get a head start in the new tournament with a win over India, who have been unimpressive over their last few visits.
The home team will be without the services of their star allrounder Ben Stokes, which means that Sam Curran should get plenty of game time. He has done well here and there for a 23-year-old, but against India he will have to step up and fill big shoes.
Since Curran bats well and so can Ollie Robinson, England might pick Jack Leach but Ollie Pope might not be fit to play. It means that Jonny Bairstow might get a rare Test start.
When India visited England in 2018, they were thrashed 4-1 but the visitors have long been adamant that the series was competitive despite what the eventual results say.
One man who’d be eager to impress is KL Rahul. The right-handed batsman has had a few underwhelming years in Test cricket but his last truly good knock came against none other than England on the aforementioned tour of 2018 when he scored a 149 in one of the Tests. Captain Virat Kohli will have a dilemma regarding team selection, especially at the number seven spot where he’d have to make a call on Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur in what is a classic choice between spin and added pace.