No Anderson, “third rate citizens”, plenty of first timers- A look at England’s squad for India tests

England Test squad for India tour: Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Haseeb Hameed, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

No Anderson: MS Dhoni named Anderson the difference between the two sides when England beat India in 2012. Anderson has still not recovered from his shoulder injury and looks likely to miss at least first two tests.


All eyes will be on Ben Stokes as he embarks on his first test tour of India

Faith in seamers: Unlike India who have picked four seamers, England have picked three and have put the faith in their seamers to deliver in testing conditions. They have five seam bowling options in Broad, Woakes, Stokes, Finn and Ball.

The spinners: Graeme Swann termed England’s spinners as “third rate citizens”. Contrary to MS Dhoni, Swann and Panesar were the difference between the two sides in 2012 and not Anderson as they utilized the conditions much better than their Indian counterparts Ashwin and Ojha. This time around though the spin trio of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Gareth Batty doesn’t inspire much confidence.

First tour of India for all but four: In the recent history of test cricket beating India in India is considered as the toughest challenge. So it isn’t easy for first-time tourists to adjust to the conditions both overhead with the heat and humidity and underneath with the pitches.¬†Out of England’s squad of 16, only four: Cook, Root, Broad, Finn, have played in India before. So it is going to be a case of learning on the job for most of the guys.

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