Former Australia cricketer Nathan Hauritz feels the series between the two countries will be a hard-fought one and he predicts a drawn series.
Hauritz, who played 17 Tests, 58 ODIs, and 3 T20Is between 2004 and 2011, also picked Rishabh Pant as a key player for India in the Test series.
“For India, Virat is incredibly important. For England, Joe Root is incredibly important. But I will pick Rishabh Pant. He is so dynamic and so aggressive. He holds that lower-order set up and he can take the game away from you. He’s going to keep developing as a young cricketer. He is maturing with age. Hope that he can keep learning from his mistakes,” Hauritz told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
Both India and England are going into the series after suffering defeats against New Zealand. England lost a two-match series to New Zealand, while India lost the World Test Championship final against the Black caps.
India will kick off their five-Test series campaign on August 4 with the first Test, at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
The second Test (Aug 12 – Aug 16) will be played at Lord’s, the third (Aug 25 – Aug 29) at Headingley, the fourth (Sep 02 – Sep 06) at Kennington Oval, and the fifth Test (Sep 10 – Sep 14) at Old Trafford.
#TeamIndia bowlers having a go at in the nets ahead of the #ENGvIND Test series 💪💪 https://t.co/FMRImaw7Gr
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1627554601000
“I think it will come down to the bowlers. Indian batting lineup has underperformed recently in the WTC final. But a lot of class is there. We can’t expect Virat not to perform for such a long period. I fully expect him to make some runs soon. England bowling attack of Anderson and Broad looked a bit tired in the last Test series against New Zealand. It will be Indian bowlers in the series against England,” Hauritz further said.
“Hopefully, the weather doesn’t play a part. England are really tough to beat in their own backyard. But India are at their peak. Anything is possible. I predict a drawn series. England’s top order is really under pressure at the moment and India bowlers can definitely expose them,” the former Australia cricketer said.
India have won a Test series in England thrice – in 1971 (under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy), in 1986 (under Kapil Dev’s captaincy), and in 2007 (under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy).
After 2007, India toured England three times (2011, 2014, and 2018), but failed to add another series win on English soil.
Will a defeat against India affect England psychologically ahead of the all-important Ashes (to be played in December-January in Australia)? According to Hauritz, England’s top order need to perform and the team needs to play consistent cricket rather than thinking about the result.
“England’s bowling attack has been world-class. Their top order has to click. Whether they win, lose or draw, they need to play consistent cricket,” Hauritz signed off.