India eye perfect start to English summer in home team’s 1000th test

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England’s Joe Root and India’s Virat Kohli pose with the trophy at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Tuesday.

BIRMINGHAM, July 31: India would be driven by the desire to shed the poor travellers’ tag, while England would be desperate to arrest the recent slide at home when the two teams clash in a five-match Test series, starting on Wednesday.
The English side will be celebrating its 1000th Test at Edgbaston, and it will be up to world No.1 India to spoil the home party.
India last won a Test series in England in 2007 under Rahul Dravid, and it will be no easy task ahead of the Virat Kohli-led side to duplicate that feat.
Under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India failed in 2011 and 2014, losing by heavy 0-4 and 1-3 margins, respectively. In fact, India have only won six out of the 57 matches on English soil.
England’s Test form coming into this series is also a cause of concern. Since September 2017, England have only won one out of nine Tests against Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan.
They have been beaten twice in their last five home Tests by West Indies and Pakistan, with both sides’ pace attack exploiting the weaknesses in a batting line-up heavily dependent on Root, Jonny Bairstow and seasoned opener Alastair Cook.
The visitors, meanwhile, will be buoyed by the fact that three out of their six wins here have come since 2002. India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar was part of the Test squad as Sourav Ganguly’s team won at Leeds. (PTI)