After a successful summer’s Test series against the likes of the West Indies and Pakistan, England will be looking ahead to their winter tour of India.
The team is due to play five Tests against India this winter that will be part of the ICC World Test Championship. There is the potential for a visit to Sri Lanka, and there are even plans for setting up a training camp in the sub-continent.
However, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to play havoc with the planning of such international cricket tournaments. Thankfully, this summer saw the bio-bubble allowing English cricket fans to enjoy some memorable Test matches – horrendous weather permitting.
So if England do manage to make it to India, who would the national selectors include in the Test match squads?
Solving the problematic batting order
All England fans will know that the team’s Test batting order is nothing if not problematic. Over the past few years, there have been numerous batting collapses so it’s difficult to know where to start in fixing the issue.
Thankfully, Zack Crawley’s magnificent 267 against Pakistan looks to have solved the tricky number three issue. The 22-year old showed a level of maturity far beyond his years this summer, and hopes are high that he’ll be able to continue where he left off against the Indian bowling attack.
Other youngsters like Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope have shown plenty of promise, but establishing a solid opening pair has proven to be frustrating. Keaton Jennings’ dismal test average speaks for itself, while Rory Burns has suffered yet more shaky form over the summer.
While Joe Denly temporarily added some stability to the England top order, he is still capable of giving his wicket away for no apparent reason.
Further down the batting order, things get no clearer.
There is still plenty of debate about whether Joe Root’s captaincy has meant that his batting has suffered. The 29-year old had yet another indifferent Test series against Pakistan, and it’s clear that he is far from his best.
Thankfully, we can expect Ben Stokes to rejoin the England squad after he missed the last few Test matches due to family reasons.
Plus there’s plenty of hope that Jos Buttler can continue his impressive run of form with the bat. He served up some impressive innings against Pakistan that temporarily took away the attention from some embarrassing wicketkeeping mistakes.
While Buttler’s talents as a limited over batsman is without question, the fact that he’s started scoring consistently for the Test team will be a huge boost to the England squad.
Plenty of choice in the England bowling attack
England’s victory over Pakistan once again gave everybody chance to appreciate Jimmy Anderson’s phenomenal bowling skills. The star became the first seamer to reach 600 Test wickets, and early indications are that he’s very keen to play in the 2021-22 Ashes series.
But if anybody thinking of visiting a cricket betting resource such as www.captaingambling.com will know that Anderson will need plenty of help to break through legendary Indian batsman like Virat Kohli.
Above all, it’s essential that promising fast bowlers like Jofra Archer and Mark Wood are given plenty of confidence. Archer’s summer was overshadowed for his breaking of the bio-bubble guidelines, and he’ll be keen to show his true potential in India.
There’s also hope that Dom Bess might get chance to prove his skills as a spin bowler on sympathetic wickets this winter. Thankfully Stuart Broad is back to his best after being dropped for the first Test against West Indies.
The seamer picked up a healthy 26 wickets over the summer, and while he’s entering the twilight years of his career, he still seems hungry for more success.
Plus Chris Woakes has also proven to be handy with the bat with that match-saving unbeaten 84 against Pakistan. Well known as being Mr Dependable, Woakes is the kind of all-rounder that should flourish in India.
But with lingering questions over the likes of Moeen Ali, England’s Test selectors could still produce a few surprises for the upcoming winter tour.