Cricket fans are getting ready for a showdown of epic proportions which is starting January 25th as India and England will lock horns in a five-match Test series, with the coveted prize of a spot in the WTC Finals hanging in the balance. This series is more than just a nail-biting cricket match; it's a crucial turning point for both teams on their quest to reach the World Test Championship summit.
India, sitting comfortably at second in the WTC rankings, are cricket giants in their backyard. They haven't lost a Test series at home in over 11 years. But this is a new look for England's side from the last two tours which have garnered worldwide fame with their aggressive brand of cricket in test matches called 'Bazball'.
Captain Rohit Sharma has hinted at preparing spin-friendly pitches, which has sparked debate. Former England captain Nasser Hussain even warned against turning the tracks into unplayable dustbowls. He believes these "rank turners" would benefit England's spinners too, thanks to their aggressive Baseball approach. Instead, he suggests preparing "good pitches that spin a bit," where India's batting and spin bowling prowess can truly shine.
Speaking of the pitches in a Sky Sports podcast Nasser Hussain said, "I think what India should do is ask for good pitches that spin a bit because I think their spinners and batters will then out-bat and out-spin ours. If they ask for pitches that spin a lot, then it becomes a bit of a lottery and brings England’s spinners into the game. The way Bazball goes about its business, they would not die wondering."
Indian pitches will be under the scanner
India has garnered some criticisms in the past with the type of pitches they have been dishing to oppositions in the past, especially SENA teams. Some of the pitches have started turning from the first ball itself which in some cases nullifies the skill factor and becomes more like a lottery.
India have themselves bear the brunt sometimes where they have fallen prey to their own doing such as in the ODI World Cup final or the 3rd Test match against Australia in Indore. Indian management must consider these factors before preparing pitches for the England series but apart from the pitch debate both the units look equally good and the fans are up for a grueling test series between two top test nations.