The first Test between England and India will kick off on August 1 at Birmingham. The two teams will take on each other in a five-match series which will be played in a six-week period.
It is expected to be an engrossing affair, given the quality in both the ranks. England are No.5 in the ICC Test rankings, but have a very formidable squad. On the other hand, Virat Kohli and co. are No.1 ranked team, and are aiming to avenge the series defeats in 2011 and 2014.
All the players will be concentrating on the series, so much so that they barely have time to spend with their close one's. And it seems, two Indian players have taken this way too seriously.
On the eve of the first Test, All-rounder Hardik Pandya posted a picture with wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik. In the image, the two can be seen 'bromancing'. The post read, My no. 1 love ❤️ @dk00019"
Following the picture, Karthik's wife Dipika Pallikal replied on the post. Her message read, "Clearly, I’ve been replaced. Thanks."
A day before the beginning of the first Test, the hosts announced their playing XI. England dropped all-rounder Moeen Ali, and picked leg-spinner Adil Rashid, as well as choosing Sam Curran as the third pacer, meaning James Porter will have to wait for his debut.
It might come as a major surprise to many that Moeen has been dropped, given his all-round ability. He was one of the best players when England beat India 3-1 in the five-match series in 2014.
Also, his exclusion means David Malan gets a start, and will bat at No.4 Further, Jos Buttler has been appointed as the vice-captain for the match. It comes as a major achievement for the wicketkeeper-batsman, given he wasn't even a regular in the Test side some time back.
The Test series will mark the end of India's tour of Ireland and England. Kohli and co. started their tour with a 2-0 win over Ireland in the two-T20I series. Following the success, they traveled to England for three T20Is, three ODIs and five Test matches.
India achieved major success in the first leg of their tour of England. In the T20Is, they beat the hosts 2-1. But England bounced back in brilliant fashion, and won the subsequent ODI series 2-1.