Indian team is set to embark on a long tour to England, where they will play five test matches, along with three ODIs and T20s.
Virat Kohli will lead the Indian side as they tour England after four years. In 2014, India, quite literally bounced-out the English side when Ishant Sharma’s 7-wickets in an innings led to a famous victory in Lord’s. However, India’s performance dropped in the rest of the matches, as they lost the series 3-1.
We take a look at players who were part of the squad in India’s test tour to England, and where are they now.
MS Dhoni (captain)
The “captain cool” led the Indian side in the England tour, but retired from test matches the same year in December. He, however, continued to lead India in limited-overs format, before finally stepping down as captain in January 2017. He continues to be a part of Indian team’s core in ODIs and T20s, and is central to India’s campaign for the next year’s world cup.
The fast bowler played two tests, dismissing five batsmen on the tour. With an average of 50, the tour was a disappointment for Varun Aaron. He played six more test matches after the England tour, as injuries impacted his career, and he lost his place in the side towards the end of 2015 after the home series against South Africa.
Varun Aaron enjoyed a stint with English county side Leicestershire in April-May 2018. He played three first-class matches, taking 9 wickets. He also appeared for them in 6 List A games, dismissing 7 batsmen. However, he faced troubles with economy rate in the latter.
The off-spinner continues to be the core member of Indian bowling line-up, and he also emerged as a handy batsman in the lower-middle order. He will play a key role for Indian bowling in India’s upcoming tour to England.
Stuart Binny was selected as an all-rounder in Indian side for the England tour in 2014. However, he bowled in only three innings, without a wicket. He scored a terrific 78 runs in the Lord’s test, but failed miserably in the next two games. With an average of 23.60, he scored only 118 runs in three tests. He lost his place in the side after the home series against South Africa.
Binny recently represented Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, where he had a disappointing season with both bat and bowl. It is highly unlikely that he will be selected for the test squad again, based on his current performances.
The aggressive left-hander was a disappointment in the previous tour to England, where he could only manage an average of 20.33. However, his exploits in the sub-continent earned him respect in the cricketing community, and he still is a part of the test side. However, with the arrival of KL Rahul, it is unsure that he will feature in the playing XI, at least in the first test.
Gambhir’s selection was controversial at that point, and his performances proved why. He was the fourth lowest scorer in the whole series. In the 2 games he played, he scored only 25 runs in four innings.
He last played for India in 2016 in the home series against England. With ample opening options in KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, combined with his poor run of form, it is unlikely Gambhir will be part of the team.
Gambhir represented Delhi Daredevils in IPL this season, but resigned and dropped himself after six matches due to lack of decent performances. He never featured for the franchise again in the 2018 season.
Ravindra Jadeja took 9 wickets in the previous tour, and has been the core member of the test team since. However, he was on the bench for the South Africa tour in 2018. In English conditions, it will be interesting to see if Jadeja gets an opportunity in the playing XI.
Kohli had a disastrous series in England the last time India toured the country. But since, he has shown tremendous improvement in his game, and is now counted amongst the best batsman in the world. Virat Kohli leads the Indian test side since 2014, and took over MS Dhoni as the captain in all three formats.
He enjoyed a fairly decent IPL season for RCB. However, his much-hyped stint with Surrey was cancelled as the batsman suffered from injury. Hence, it will be interesting to see how the batsman tackles the English conditions this time around.
However, Kohli will be the most important part of the batting line-up when India plays in England.
Bhuvi travelled to England after playing just seven tests for the national side, but performed like he was a test match veteran. In four test matches, he took 19 wickets, finishing joint-second highest wicket taker, alongside Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali. Along with Jasprit Bumrah, he will be the core of Indian bowling line-up as the team attempts to improve on their performance from the last tour.
Shami did not have a good series on India’s last English tour. In the three matches he played, he took only 5 wickets. However, he came strongly in the away series against Australia, where he took 15 wickets in three games. He has been a first-team regular since.
Shami is the master of reverse-swing and can be lethal in English conditions.
The wicketkeeper was called to fill-in for backup keeper Wriddhiman Saham, who suffered injury before the series. However, he didn’t get an opportunity to play as MS Dhoni captained the side in all the four test matches. He made his debut an year later against Sri Lanka, which remains to be his only international test match.
He played one game for Delhi Dardevils this IPL, and represents Madhya Pradesh in Ranji trophy.
The right-arm pacer didn’t get an opportunity in the tour, and is yet to play for India in any format. He plays for Madhya Pradesh in Ranji trophy. He appeared in 7 games for the state this season, taking 23 wickets.
Singh played two games, taking two wickets in the test series. He has not represented India in any format after the England tour. He plays for Rajasthan in the Ranji trophy, where he played five matches in the recent season, taking 13 wickets. Pankaj Singh hasn’t played a single match this year.
Pujara’s last English tour was poor by his standards, scoring 222 runs in five test matches. However, he improved on his footwork and came back strongly in the upcoming test series against Australia and Sri Lanka, and became the core member of the Indian test side.
Pujara represented Yorkshire in the months of April and May. Even though he had a disappointing run in the first-class games, he made a decent comeback in List-A matches. Pujara scored a century and three fifties in five limited-over games he played for Yorkshire.
Pujara’s form will be crucial to India’s chances in the English tour this year.
Rahane is termed as India’s best batsman overseas, and he was the fifth highest scorer in the test series in England. Rahane scored one century and two half-centuries throughout the tour. He performed consistently for India in test matches, and was rewarded with captaincy for the one-off test match against Afghanistan.
He also captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL this season, taking his team to the play-offs.
The Indian pacer made life miserable for English batsmen in the Lord’s test, when he took seven wickets in the second innings to lead India to a famous victory. He dismissed 14 batsmen in the series. He has been a first team regular for the Indian team since making his debut in 2008, and played 81 test matches.
Recently, he enjoyed a highly successful stint with Sussex, where he market his debut with a five wicket-haul. With the presence of Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar, Ishant Sharma will be in contention for the place of a third bowler.
Rohit played only one game in the previous tour, scoring 34 runs. Rohit has been in-and-out of the side for long, playing 25 tests since making his debut in 2013. He led Mumbai Indians in this season’s IPL, where he struggled with form. It was the first season where he couldn’t cross the 300-run mark.
It is unsure whether he was dropped or rested for the one-off test against Afghanistan, which also cast a doubt over his selection for the test series in England.
The right-handed opener was the highest scorer for India on the last England tour. In the five test matches, he scored 402 runs, scoring a hundred and two fifties. He has been the most consistent opener for the Indian side, even though his opening partners have been changed throughout. He opened with Gambhir in England for two matches, and has been opening with Shikhar Dhawan until the arrival of KL Rahul in Indian test side.
Vijay has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders as he travels to England.
Since the retirement of Dhoni, Saha has been the first-choice wicketkeeper for India. However, his place in the team has been recently challenged by Dinesh Karthik. Saha’s injury has led to Karthik being in the squad for the one-off test against Afghanistan. If Karthik impresses on his comeback tour, there’s a high chance that Saha may lose his place in the playing XI.
Saha represented Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, but had a disappointing season, which was later marred by wrist injury.