The India vs England series is all set to get underway on February 5 in Chennai with the first Test. Notably, this is India's first international assignment at home after the ungodly COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm. The high-profile series has been one of the most anticipated cricketing events for two reasons, one, because it's a contest between two cricketing giants and the other, is that the series will play a crucial role in determining the finalist of the World Test Championship.
It will be interesting to see the playing XI the hosts field for the India vs England 1st Test after their tour Down Under. Indian captain Virat Kohli who went on paternity leave after the first Test against Australia has returned and joined the team. Considering the return of Kohli and a few fresh names in the Indian squad, former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer took to Twitter and shared his views on what India's playing XI should look like for the first Test.
Jaffer has kept an in-form Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma as his openers for the first Test. Gill was exceptional in the Australia series as he gave India decent starts on most occasions and looked pretty comfortable against a tough Australian attack. On the other hand, although Rohit Sharma had an average series Down Under, he also found a place in Jaffer's playing XI because of his impeccable record at home.
At No. 3, Jaffer put the reliable Cheteshwar Pujara followed by Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, which is a no brainer considering the kind of experience and record they have at home. At No. 6, the former cricketer picked Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper of the side over Wriddhiman Saha, which doesn't come as a surprise after the southpaw's stunning batting display in Australia.
Jaffer then went on to omit one of the heroes of the historic Gabba Test, Washington Sundar and named Axar Patel over him as the all-rounder in the side. The former batsman went on to choose R Ashwin as his first-choice spinner and was in a fix between Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur.
Jaffer named Jasprit Bumrah to lead India's pace attack in the first Test but was confused between Mohammed Siraj and Ishant Sharma for the second pacer's role. The 42-year old who was confused with two spots clarified that the selection should depend based on the pitch and conditions in Chennai. He also justified his selection of Kuldeep Yadav by pointing out England's weakness against left-arm spinners.
India's Playing XI for 1st Test(imo):— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 31, 2021
Question is about 2 spots depending on combination + pitch.
What's your XI?
*Eng have huge weakness vs left arm spin. #INDvENG
As soon as Wasim Jaffer posted his playing XI for India vs England 1st Test, fans flooded the tweet with their responses. Several reactions poured in as netizens shared their opinion on how India's playing XI should like. Here's how fans reacted to Jaffer's tweet.
Play Siraj and Ishant. No Shardul/ Kuldeep. Washy instead of Axar. Local boy plus a better bat than Axar. Understand the weakness but have confidence in them coz of recent form too. :)— Aishu Haridas (@imaishu_) January 31, 2021
Surprised that u didn't iclnclude Saha as Keeper as his skills are vital on Indian tracks— 𝓛𝓲𝓿𝓮 𝓕𝓻𝓮𝓮 (@sauravranu) January 31, 2021
Wasim sir don’t u think Mayank Deserves the Backing?— PREETJOT❤️YOUWECAN💙 (@PreetjotSingh1) January 31, 2021
Ek Series kharab gayi & no one is even talking about him!🥺
On Chennai wicket, I don't think fast bowler can really do anything. Should go with three spinner including Axar and play Hardik in place of one fast bowler and allow him to bowl along with Bumrah.— Ankit Sharma (@ankitsharma1507) January 31, 2021
Kuldeep is a must at Chepauk. And three spinners who'll turn from off to leg to a right hander is way too one dimensional. So Axar may be picked ahead of Sundar. And Ishant or Siraj will be a decision to take.— T#€ 🅱💙🆖 Gu¥ (@SarkarSpeaking) January 31, 2021
I am surprised y axar Patel is selected over Shabaz nadeem in the squad ? I think he has excellent domestic record ? Can anybody have explanation for this ?— Mohit (@Mohit55319790) January 31, 2021
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