The Pataudi Trophy between England and India gets underway in Nottingham on Wednesday. Here is what to expect from the series...
Start of the WTC II cycle
This series will be the first one under the new cycle of World Test Championship (WTC) and India have a tough assignment from the word go as it is one place they have struggled to win more than a Test. If that trend continues, they will be left with lot of catching up to do in the remaining five series.
What are India's chances?
In 2018, they lost 1-4, but the scoreline won't reflect how closely they fought the series as they were in with an equal chance going into the fourth innings of all the five Tests. And to be fair, India have a definite chance to win the series this time and it will come down to the batsmen. Last time, insecurity among the batsmen caused them dearly and if they sort that out, and get runs on board, they have the attack to win the Tests.
How about England?
They are slightly depleted. And will miss the services of all-rounder, Ben Stokes, who provides the team with not only good balance, but can send down testing spells. That aside, their batting line-up is way too dependent on captain Joe Root. However, they still have more than enough arsenal in their bowling to cause India trouble.
Where the series will be won?
Both the batting units are capable of collapsing under a session because both teams have exceptional bowling units. Last time the runs scored by the lower-order tilted the series in favour of England and expect the same to happen this time too. Also, it is what helped India beat England at home in February-March.
Pitch and conditions
The pitch has grass cover and both teams have not revealed their XI as yet. Expect seamers to be in the game at all point as overcast conditions are expected throughout the five days.
2007: The last time India won a Test series in England. Overall, they have won only three series in England.
1: India have won only a Test each in each of their two previous two tours to England. Have lost seven out of 10 they have played against the hosts.