International cricket is returning to India after a year’s gap and we just can’t wait for it to get started. India last played a match at home was against Australia in Bangalore in January 2020. India didn’t get to play a home Test match in entire 2020 and all that was due to the prevailing pandemic situation. Now, the situation has eased a bit with vaccine around and under strict protocols, we are all set to witness India playing in India once again.
The gap between India’s Gabba breach and waiting to see this series at home and has been a huge one but at last, we are just 3 days away from the big series against England. The tour consists of all three formats but major focus will be on Test cricket with this huge build-up around this high profile series and World Test championship points at stake. The series begins in Chennai from 5th February and like we do before every series, we make a list of records which could be broken by players from both the sides throughout the series.
- 1st Test : 5-9 Feb, Chennai
- 2nd Test : 13-17 Feb, Chennai
- 3rd Test : 24-28 Feb, Ahmedabad
- 4th Test : 4 Mar – 8 Mar, Ahmedabad
Records on stake for Indian players
However, before we start with it, just a casual mention that we won’t be talking about the records Virat Kohli can break in this series because we have already covered that in another article. Click here to know the 7 records which Virat Kohli can break in the upcoming series.
- Cheteshwar Pujara has the chance to become India’s 9th leading run scorer in Test cricket. All he needs to do is to score 105 runs to go pass Mohammad Azharuddin.
- It would be a big ask to take 23 wickets in 4 Tests but with R Ashwin playing at home, it is achievable. If he takes 23 wickets, he will become the 3rd Indian spinner and 4th Indian bowler to enter 400 Test wickets club.
- Ishant Sharma will also walk in the team after an injury that kept him away from the action for so long. He requires only 3 wickets to complete 300 wickets. He will only be the third Indian fast bowler to do so.
- Ashwin also has an opportunity to overtake Harbhajan Singh and become India’s second most successful bowler at home after Anil Kumble. To achieve that, he needs to pick 12 wickets in this series.
- Ishant Sharma needs 2 wickets to complete 100 wickets at home.
- After the heroics in Australia, there is a high possibility that Rishabh Pant will play the series ahead of Saha even at home. If he does and scores 198 runs, he will be ahead of both Wriddhiman Saha and Kiran More and will be the 5th most run scorer among the wicket keeper batsmen in India. He had started his career just 3 years ago.
Records on stake for English players
- English captain Joe Root has started his 2021 with back to back hundreds in Sri Lanka. If he scores 215 more runs, he will be the third highest run scorer for England in test cricket, overall. Currently, Alec Stewart owns that position.
- Moeen Ali is only 218 runs away from completing 3000 Test runs. However, it would be a tough assignment for him considering his struggles at the last tour.
- Dominic Sibley needs 252 runs to complete 1000 runs in Test cricket.
- As captain, Joe Root has a chance to become England’s second highest run scorer after Alastair Cook. He needs to score 161 runs to surpass Mike Atherton.
- Root will also have a chance to go pass Kevin Pietersen and become third highest run scorer against India among English batsmen. All he needs to do is to score 161 runs.
World Test Championship context
India qualify if…
England qualify if…
Australia qualify if…
— ICC (@ICC) February 2, 2021
With Australia canceling the Test series with South Africa, it has become slightly easier for India to qualify for the final. All India needs to do is to win at least 2 test matches and not lose more than one in the series and they will be through to play New Zealand in the final.
What England needs to do is to win at least 3 tests in this series to qualify which looks a daunting task given how they had lost the last series 4-0 in India.