IND vs ENG series: As India will host England for a mouth-watering 4-match Test series being played across two venues in India, thanks to movement limitations still in place due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The tourists will be boosted by the addition of rookie all-rounder Ben Stokes and pacemen Jofra Archer to the English side. However, former England opener Mark Butcher reckons that Joe Root's men will be buoyed by the absence of Indian flamboyant all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
In the absence of Rory Burns, who missed the Sri Lanka tour down under due to attend the birth of his first child, England opened with Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley. Mark Butcher believes that the visitors will go back to their regular starting duo of Sibley and Crawley for the first Test against Virat Kohli-led Team India starting February 5 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Both teams are heading into the series with away Test series wins as India beat Australia by 2-1 including a first-ever win at The Gabba, whereas England trumped Sri Lanka by 2-0 in a two-match Test series that saw them resolve sub-continent conditions reasonably well.
"Embuldeniya is a quality spinner and our batters had problems facing him. England will be buoyed by Jadeja's absence. India possesses a world-class bowling attack but Jadeja adds a 'different dimension' to India's bowling attack, said Butcher.''
Mark Butcher also said that in order to walk away with a series win against a confident Indian side, the English batsmen will have to be patient in the face of challenging and unfamiliar conditions.
"The key for success in India is to be patient as the conditions will be challenging. The English batsmen will be watching videos of Indian bowlers and doing their homework in order to be ready. Burns and Sibley are the ones doing the job for some time and they should be opening in the first Test. A left-right combination is handy and England will want to stick with them.''
''If the two get off to a good start, the rest of the batsmen too will gain confidence and it lifts the mood of the dressing room, he added."