Conditions in England and India could not really be any different. Both teams are fantastic at home and start every series as a big favourite with conditions in their favour and just as importantly the visitors playing in conditions totally alien to them. In Broad and Anderson England have a couple of world class performers who are as good as anyone on the green pitch’s in England and ably supported by overhead conditions which assist the ball moving around and make batting incredibly difficult. Overseas, both have had their moments but are not even close to as effective as they are at home on flatter pitches with the sun shining all day and getting nowhere near the assistance they would in England.
The exact same thing can be said of India’s excellent spinners in Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja who can be near unplayable in India and regularly can be seen to bowl nearly all day, every day on wickets ideally suited to them – making playing away in India possibly the toughest test in cricket.
The main reason for the massive difference’s in conditions in both respective lands is the opposite weather conditions. Cricket in England being generally played in overcast conditions on wickets that rarely see the sun and can often be slightly damp or soft and offer England’s excellent seamers plenty. Cricket in India is nearly always played in extreme heat with the wickets baking quickly and crumbling just as fast to offer enormous assistance to India’s trump card of excellent spin bowling.
The current heatwave in England could potentially offer a bizarre role reversal with no rain seen in weeks and wickets becoming increasingly difficult to manage with the extreme heat which could the Indian side more at home than the hosts. An obvious advantage of playing at home is most of the support being in the host’s favour, this again could take a strange twist with India receiving fabulous support in certain areas of England – and with the first test taking place in Birmingham on Wednesday, it would not be a total surprise for India to have a partisan crowd roaring them on at Edgbaston.
England currently have a real selection dilemma over their spinning options with Moeen Ali left out of their last series, Adil Rashid making himself available for only white ball cricket, Dom Bess being the player who played in the last tests but at 20 years old and not a massive amount of first class cricket behind him and potentially a bit early for him to be bowling at some of the finest players of spin in the world. India’s selection headache is a more positive one with who to select from three quite brilliant spinners in Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep, all of which means it could be a real opportunity for India to turn the status quo of home dominance in the five test series.
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