It’s fair to say England will be going into the Tests with India feeling a fair amount of trepidation.
Last time out, Alastair Cook’s men were thumped by 108 runs by Bangladesh following one of the most spectacular batting collapses you’re likely to see.
Rumour has it that Cook could be stepping down at the end of the series, so he’ll want to go out on a high if that’s true. It seems at the moment the Essex man is taking it one series at a time, in consultation with Andrew Strauss.
However, one of England’s decisions is already raising eyebrows. Cook has confirmed, via Sky Sports, that Haseeb Hameed will come into the side, with Ben Duckett moved down the order to bat at four.
Both are priced at 5/1 to top-score in England’s first innings, but the truth is they’ll do incredibly well to achieve that, as this should all have happened against Bangladesh.
Duckett struggled, scoring 21 runs across two Tests. The 22-year-old doesn’t always open for Northamptonshire in the longer format, that task often falling to Richard Levi and Adam Rossington. It’s great that England have now rectified their mistakes of the Bangladesh series, but it’s going to be hard for Hameed and Duckett to adapt.
It’s also given Hameed a baptism of fire. The batsman should do well in the sub-continent, but facing India isn’t exactly the easiest way to make his Test debut.