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England not starting first 2 Tests with their best team, India definitely favourites: Kevin Pietersen

India and England are all set to play a 4-match Test series in the subcontinent nation, starting on February 5. Former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen has weighed in on India’s chances in the upcoming home series and explained why the hosts are to win the Tests.

According to Kevin Pietersen, England’s chances have been lowered with Virat Kohli being back for India along with the visitors not fielding their best teams for the first two Tests, both to be played in Chennai.

“India’s got experience at home, they definitely do. They’ve got Kohli coming back.England has not taken their best team for the first two Test matches. I think Jonny Bairstow has to be there and I don’t think he’s going to be there. India are definitely favourites. 100% they’re the favourites, because England haven’t taken their best team or they’re certainly not starting with their best team,” Kevin Pietersen said on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.

Further on, Pietersen has also dissected the significant narrative to look forward to in the 4-match Test series, starting on Friday. According to the former batsman, it will be interesting to see how Kohli takes over as captain after stand-in leader Ajinkya Rahane led the team to a historic 2-1 triumph in Australia.

“Kohli, Anderson, Ajinkya Rahane, how’s he going to go, being captain in Australia and then coming back and Kohli, how’s that dynamic going to work? It’s going to be a very interesting dynamic. I think that might be, something that is talked about a lot during this series. Then you have got Jofra Archer, can he knock over Pujara,” he added.

“Bumrah’s back there are so many different permutations that could happen in this Test series, but I think there’s going to be a very interesting story that’s going to run through this series Kohli comes back as captain after Ajinkya Rahane was so good in Australia. I know Joe Root has been outstanding in Sri Lanka, so he’s clearly somebody who’s going to come in with a lot of form.”

“England’s opening batsmen have they got enough time to turn their techniques around? Sibley did well in the last Test match. Has Crawley got enough time to turn his technique around? Is Burns going to come back in? Ben Stokes is there, and he’s an absolute super star. Is Anderson going to be able to do the business? Then, you have got Ashwin, Bumrah, Kohli, Rahane, Pujarathere are too many super stars for me to sit here and pick one player in particular. I just think that it’s going to be a fantastic series slow wickets, but two great teams!”

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India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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