A detailed analysis on the contrasting performances of India and England and their captains.
With India and England scheduled to play 9 Test matches between them in a calendar year, a brewing rivalry, constant comparisons and indefinite match-ups were always set to be the chatter around the cricketing world.
The richness of a game played over 5 days provides an intriguing duality of being all-encompassing within itself yet so highly wrapped with context. As the year has progressed, so has the understanding of the teams, their inherent characteristics, strengths and possible weaknesses.
Team India, over the past 3 years, have carved a new template for themselves, traveling with a barrage of quick bowlers and honing quality spinners for sub-continental conditions, reliable batsmen and a line-up studded with match winners. Results? India have won 59 per cent of the Tests played since January 2019 and drew 13 per cent including the two historic wins of the Border-Gavaskar trophy in Australia.
England, on the other hand, have been led by a few key players outperforming others in the setup time and again to bring home important wins. Although the team is struggling to find a consistent top-order since the retirement of Alastair Cook, having tried 13 different players at the top in the three-year period since his retirement. Notably, none of them has averaged more than mid-30s which is a cause of concern. This, coupled with their rest and rotation policy and numerous injuries, has greatly hindered the balance of the team going into the current series.
A captain’s innings
The role of a captain is probably one of the most prominent in the game of cricket, deciding whom to bowl, which field to set, what line of attack to pursue are all responsibilities shouldered by the functionary. However, apart from the regulatory role, a captain also sets the intentions of the team, its mentality, style and character, he breeds how they play and what they feed off.
Progression of the Englan