India eager to cement No 1 status with series win in England

Ajustar Comentario Impresión

By picking Adil Rashid, they are selecting the unselectable: a player who will not play four-day Championship cricket for Yorkshire because his heart isn't in it but he will play for England in Test Matches. The two teams have clashed six times at this venue, with England winning five and one draw in 1986.

Alastair Cook insists Yorkshire's Adil Rashid is mature enough to handle the occasion of his controversial Test recall.

Considering it is a long five-match series, India need to be wary of the physical toll on the pacers and Kohli will have to utilise them smartly.

After two weeks of voting and with some selections coming down to only three votes, the official nation's best-ever England men's Test XI was finalised. The pitches will be good, he is a great player of spin and you can wear India's seamers down because I don't think they will be that disciplined. One area of concern still remains for India in Shikhar Dhawan who continued his poor form in the practice match, falling for a duck in both the innings.

The next session could well prove crucial, can England get deeper into the India batting lineup or can Kohli restore some calm? India needed just 10 balls to wrap up the hosts' first innings - Sam Curran falling for his overnight 24 after edging Mohammad Shami to wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, to leave England all out for 287. If you think about it as an opportunity - to be among the 15 or 16 players picked for the country when there are so many cricketers, to have the honour of stepping onto the field to play for India, if we are upset about it, there's something wrong.

The prolific batsman averaged only 13.40, with his top score just 39, in his only previous experience of playing in the longest format in England. To add to his misery, Pujara didn't do well either for Yorkshire in County cricket nor during the warm-up game against Essex (1 & 23).

"It's a young team which has played a lot of matches".

But Cook senses that at 30, and after the sustained white-ball improvement which persuaded national selector Ed Smith that Rashid may be worth a punt in England's 1,000th Test, the Yorkshireman can cope with the spotlight.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been key to England. Getty Images
James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been key to England. Getty Images

India also have a couple of crucial calls to make in the batting department.

"He scored a hundred on debut in Mumbai and it is always nice to know you are playing against a team you have had success against before".

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the best Tests England have enjoyed on home soil in pictures.

Rain has been coming down heavily in Birmingham in the past few days and that may force India to go in with a pace-heavy attack.

Kohli's men will be missing Jasprit Bumrah for the first Test and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the first three Tests.

India will not name its team until Wednesday morning, but is likely to select two spinners from Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav.

Cook's opening partner Keaton Jennings had been dropped on nine off Ishant Sharma at fourth slip, by Ajinkya Rahane diving in front of his captain Virat Kohli at third.