Monty Panesar, former England spinner, who was part of that triumphant English team in 2012-13 and claimed 17 wickets in 3 Tests against India, spoke about India’s chances against England this time besides key players roles.
India ended their Australian tour on a high note as the team defeated Australia 2-1 to clinch the Border-Gavaskar trophy for the second successive time. India will move to their next assignment which is a four-match Test series against England at home.
Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar (Image Credit: Google)

Monty Panesar: India Achieved Greatest Away Victory In Australia And Ravi Shastri Should Be Credited

The opening Test will be played at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram stadium from February 5. Chennai will also host the second Test, which will start on February 13. The last time Chennai hosted a Test match was way back in 2016 when India trounced the Alastair Cook-led England team by an innings and 75 runs.

“Coach Ravi Shastri should be given credit for this. How did Shastri manage to keep the boys in a positive mind frame when they got out for 36 (in Adelaide Test)? It’s his attitude, his approach to how to keep the team together, that worked well for the team. I honestly think it starts off with Sourav Ganguly. I think the appointment of Ganguly, coach Shastri, who has been part of the team for so long.
“They really know how to bring talent into the team and make sure that they are up for the challenge, ” says Monty Panesar on injury hit India’s come from behind win against Australia being one of greatest series win.
Ravi Shastri and Sourav Ganguly
Ravi Shastri and Sourav Ganguly. Photo Credit
“I don’t think there will be a whitewash, but I think India are favourites to win the series because they’re playing in their own home conditions. The batting is going to be their weakest point because you look at the openers who keep getting out to spinners. India are going to exploit that. So, I think India are going to be favourites to win the series. India will win the series. But I will be surprised if India beat England 4-0. For me, it will be 2-1 or 2-0,” says Monty Panesar.
In 60 Tests between India and England in India. India have won 19 times while England emerged winners on 13 occasions, while 28 Tests have been drawn. India and England have faced each other in 9 Test matches in Chennai. India have registered five wins and England three at this venue. The last time England won a Test series in India was in 2012-13 when the Alistair Cook-led side clinched the series 2-1.

Monty Panesar: Ideal Scenario When Joe Root Bats All Day And Ben Stokes Score Runs Quickly

The England selectors have rested Jonny Bairstow for the first two Tests, while wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler will return home after the first Test. Openers Zack Crawley and Dom Sibley are part of that squad. The national selectors have rested Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood for the first and second Tests in India.

“Well, I think it’s a deficiency that we have in the England team. If you tell them to bat against fast bowling, they’re much more equipped for it. So that’s why England are preparing themselves for the Ashes. And that’s why they’ve got this rotation policy happening in the India series.

“I think the key players for England are going to be Joe Root, Stuart Broad, and Jimmy Anderson. Joe knows how to bat in these conditions and he’s in tremendous form. Also, under seaming conditions, Broad and Anderson can do wonders. If the Indian batsmen can actually conquer that line, Anderson and Broad are both going to struggle,” said Monty Panesar on England’s 3 key men.

Joe Root and Ben Stokes.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“For India, it is going to be Ajinkya Rahane. His batting, captaincy, and leadership skills have impressed me a lot. Second, Pujara. He’s able to sustain the pressure. I think Ashwin is going to be a key player for India in the series. He can take wickets over the wicket and around the wicket,” on India’s 3 key men.

“I would also take the name of Japrit Bumrah. We can’t forget Virat Kohli. With the intensity, the emotion that he brings, he takes a game away. He probably wants to take India to the next level. He wants to be remembered as one of the great captains of the game, the great cricket brains of the game as well as one of the great batsmen.”

“Root will be the key wicket India will be aiming for, not Ben Stokes. Stokes can maybe in a session change the game but then he can get out very quickly. Root can combat all day. And that will be the ideal scenario where Ben Stokes could score quickly and Joe Root can bat all day. That will be England’s perfect scenario and India’s nightmare, ” on Joe Root and Ben Stokes.

Under the leadership of Joe Root, England will be looking to show a spirited performance to bolster their chances of making it to the finals of the World Test Championship in June. Rory Burns who missed Sri Lanka Tests on paternity leave while Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes who were rested makes a return for first 2 Tests.