Led by captain Mahendra Singh (MS) Dhoni, the 18-member Indian team departed for England earlier this week for their five-match Test series set to start on July 9 at Trent Bridge. With a healthy squad and an attacking mindset, Dhoni is confident India will have a successful trip in England.
“(The) 2011 series in England and Australia were very disappointing for us but when we went to South Africa and New Zealand we were not really able to close the games,” said Dhoni. “It was a good effort by our bowlers but we were denied by some fantastic batting from opposition. When we come to 50-50 situation we should capitalize on that.”
The tour in England begins on June 26 with a three-day match in Leicester. India has another warm-up game against Derbyshire from July 1-3 before the remaining test matches resume at Lord’s from July 17-21, The Rose Bowl in Southampton from July 27-31, Old Trafford from August 7-11, and The Oval from August 15-19.
The biggest difference in the roster of this series compared to that of previous ones is the overall health.
“In 2011 in Tests and ODIs we had close to 8-9 injuries,” said Dhoni. “We missed one fast bowler (Zaheer Khan), which put pressure on the other players. Last time we lost quite a few players due to injuries and we had to play few players without them getting used to conditions.”
A roster filled with 18 potentially impactful players is important, especially in a long series such as this one. The Indian team now has more options than it has had before.
India last had a similar tour like this back in 2011; India lost all four Tests then.
Test Squad: MS Dhoni (captain), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Wriddhiman Saha, Pankaj Singh.