India vs England 2020-21, 1st Test: Analysing the talking points as England draws first blood
England is off to a flying start against India in the four-Test series for the Anthony de Mello Trophy. As the opening Test in Chennai has concluded, the visitor has drawn first blood, courtesy of a world-class performance, while the match produced numerous talking points.
India's opening Test against England for the Anthony de Mello Trophy, at the MA Chidambaram (Chepauk) Stadium in Chennai, surprisingly became one-way traffic, as the visitor drew first blood. India will have to produce another comeback in the remaining three Tests, just like it did in Australia. Meanwhile, many talking points popped up, as we analyse some of them.
Joe Root is one of a kind
Starting with the Man of the Match, the English skipper is undoubtedly one of the world's best batsmen. Furthermore, it takes great effort to develop a praiseworthy performance overseas, especially in the territory where England has traditionally struggled, besides the conditions being the home to fellow world's greatest batsman, the Indian skipper, Virat Kohli. Having played 150-plus innings in three consecutive Tests in the subcontinent, he has undoubtedly shut down critics, who wondered if Root has what it takes to perform in Asia.
Ravichandran Ashwin's experience matters in Test cricket
Among the Indian bowlers, Ashwin yet again proved that be it any track, especially the rank-turners in India, his priceless experience is always worthy in the longest format of the game. Claiming nine wickets, including a six-for in an innings, is no joke. Furthermore, this track in Chennai was unlike the traditional turning tracks and was mostly flat. Yet, Ashwin knew what and how to do. A serious veteran talent who just cannot be left out.
Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar are serious Indian talent
As for wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, he already proved in Australia that he is indeed the future for Team India, at least in the longest format, while his brave innings of 91 in the opening innings yet again proved that he could be relied upon. Meanwhile, as Pant continues to grow strong in the format, all-rounder Washington Sundar has shown that even he can play a big knock as and when needed. With an unbeaten 85 in the first innings, his batting is sure to come in handy for the side in the coming days. However, he also needs to honour his spin-bowling skills if India stands a chance to bounce back in the series.
James Anderson is The Man for England
Incredibly, Anderson seems to be getting greater and stronger with each passing game and age. The 38-year-old seamer managed to claim five in the game, while how he dismissed the three batsmen in the second innings was a gem of beauty. While his lethal swing is always useful in England, how he produced the same on the flat Chennai track is deservingly commendable. With the second Test scheduled to be held here itself, he would once again be England's go-to bowler, especially if the track has some grass cover.
Was England's warm-up in Sri Lanka too good?
England did develop an excellent performance in Sri Lanka and registered a 2-0 clean sweep in the format, right before it travelled to India. However, let's face it that Lanka is not at the same level as India. While the series was indeed a warm-up for England in the sub-continent, before India, hardly anyone had expected the preamble to be so good that it could challenge India at home. No matter what, England deserves a thorough applaud on how it has prepared itself and would be even cheerful if it manages to continue with the same winning momentum throughout the series.
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