• Rishi

The Pataudi cup

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

It is time for battle between two powerhouses, India and England. The last time they met, England wiped the floor with the unprepared Indians. But this time, the new and improved Indian team is better, stronger and has the willpower to take down England, especially since the series is in India. But England has a good chance too, they have a brutal batting line up as well as spinning and swinging bowlers. Both these teams are ready and this four match battle is something you want to watch.


India Coming Off Historic Comeback Win

The Indian team have just come off one of the best wins ever against Australia., they started at full strength with their best side and it was going well in the first match. at the end of day two, Australia were in a bad position in Adelaide and everyone thought the game was over. Many Indians woke to the shock that India had been bowled out for 36, the third lowest total ever. Australia had won and in the process India lost their best batsman - Virat Kohli left to take care of his newborn baby - and their top fast bowler to an injury.


Most predicted a 4-0 result for Australia after the loss of Kohli and the humiliation at Adelaide.


The second match was simple: India dominated Australia with great help from the stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane. But, they also lost more players to injuries.


In the third game, Australia were on top for all four days and almost everyone knew the game was over. But day five was the turning point. India batted and batted through pain and strain but they survived and tied the game. They were set up to make history.


But for the last game they benched all the main bowlers as they were injured and needed rest to face England. But the B team was surprising. Everyone thought this game was going to be drawn on the last day, but Shubham Gill and Rishab Pantt had other plans.


Gill was explosive and set India on the course for victory. When things slowed down, Pant picked them back up and made history with 20 balls remaining. But even with this great triumph, India still now has one problem that came directly from doing better than everyone thought.


With India now setting their eyes on England, the worst result they can afford is to win two games, draw a game and lose a game in order to guarantee a spot in the final of the ICC Test Championship. But they have one issue: which captain does the team back?


Stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane, made history down under leading some to question if he should take over as captain. He has publicly said that he supports the captain, Virat Kohli, but we will see in the series against England which captain the team backs. A lot of the stronger players in India’s lineup are back and ready for battle. This Indian team will be fired up but also will have to overcome divided allegiances. But in my opinion, this is not enough to hold them back.


A Back and Forth Rivalry

Before talking about England, let’s discuss the history of the rivalry between the cricket teams of India and England the past three test series in 2014, 2016 and 2018.


The 2014 matches were hosted in England. Few expected anything of India in the five-test series. The team was filled with rookies and did only slightly better than those low expectations, losing 3-1 as England took the cup.


There was a bright spot though: Virat Kohli. He was not captain yet, but he still was a great player in the making. But the darkest spot in his career was this. He was playing horrid shots and he was getting out cheaply every time. 2014 was his wakeup call.


2016. This time, being hosted in India, the home team were favourites and won 4-0. This was a series to remember for two things. Kohli’s onslaught of great scores and something peculiar. A new player Karun Nair did the impossible, scoring a triple-hundred, becoming only the second Indian to do so. But after that he has never played again. Some think it was his own will, and some think Virat had something to do with it because of jealousy.


2018. This was the series where even though it was in England, India still had a chance. But they blew it with England winning 3-1. This was because they were throwing easy games and the only one who knew what he was doing was Virat. Being captain for four years then, Virat was eager to redeem his 2014 disaster, and he did. But he had little help. 2018 was also a farewell to the great Alastair Cook from England.


You may have noticed an important trend in this series that could prove key to who will emerge victorious. The hosts always win.


England Will Be Motivated


The English team have come off victorious against Sri Lanka. Apart from one or two hiccups, England dominated with their skipper Joe Root led the way with a 180+ score and a 200+ score. Many will keep an eye on Virat vs Root as the games get closer. England are also current ODI World Champions. But they will have to dominate India in order to get themselves into the final of the ICC test championship. It is not impossible but highly unlikely because the games are in India and this Indian team is ready to play.






Who Will Win?


India

Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur


England

Joe Root,(Captain) Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler,(wicket keeper) Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.


Both have a good side and good standby players. But England is not at full strength as Jonny Bairstow, the batsman/wicket keeper, will come after the first test. India though, is at full strength.


England can still win. India being slightly divided is something that England can take advantage of. But critics of England question if this is their best team.


India is still favored, though. The key is the games are being played in India, giving the men in blue an advantage. They have confidence in the ability of all their players. India has a 70% probability of winning.


The Direct Message Prediction: India wins with a final score of 3-0.




The captains holding the Pataudi cup

Image tweeted by BCCI.


How and When to Watch


Match 1 - Friday- Feb 5-9

Watch: Star Sports and Hotstar


Match 2 - Saturday- Feb 13-17

Watch: Star Sports and Hotstar


Match 3- Wednesday- Feb 24-28

Watch: Star Sports and Hotstar


Match 4- Thursday- Mar 4-8

Watch: Star Sports and Hotstar


See more stories from #Rishi here.

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