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England return to action in the first Test against India on Wednesday, a mere 10 days
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England return to action in the first Test against India on Wednesday, a mere 10 days after they capitulated against Bangladesh in Dhaka. Sheldon Day Jersey . The Test series was drawn but it is the collapse that saw them lose 10 wickets in a session - all of them to spin - in that most dramatic of defeats that will be remembered.The prospect of taking on the worlds No 1 ranked Test side, in similarly spin-friendly conditions, then, does not appear the ideal series in which to rebuild confidence. That though is the challenge Alastair Cooks side face. Here, we look at what we know about India, their strengths and where England may get some joy…Amazing AshwinHe is the man England fans fear most going into the tour and there is no point sugar-coating it, in Ravichandran Ashwin, England - a side whose vulnerability to spin was so brutally exposed in Bangladesh - are coming up against a world-class spinner at the top of his game. With supreme control over both his off-breaks and brilliantly disguised carrom ball, Englands batsmen will be tested to their very limits. Ravichandran Ashwin (right) has been in magnificent form of late The 6ft 5in off-spinner tops the Test bowling rankings and took 20 wickets at just 21.05 in Indias recent three-match series with New Zealand, including two six-wicket hauls and a seven-for. England must find a way of combating the all-rounder if they are to have any chance of upsetting the odds and winning the series.With DRS in place for the series, it will be interesting to see how Ashwin fares. But, of course, while it could deny him the odd wicket, there is every chance the technology could help him claim back just as many, if not more. Either way the umpires are sure to be kept busy.Opening issuesIt is a problem England know well. Top-class opening batsmen are hard to find and those capable of producing on a consistent basis in the Test arena are all the more rare. In Cook, England at least know they have one. As such, that is one area at least that they may have the edge over India. Murali Vijay was the one constant at the top of the order for India against New Zealand Virat Kohlis side used four different openers during the series with New Zealand. Murali Vijay was the only constant with Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and veteran Gautam Gambhir given one Test apiece at the top of the order.However, none of the quartet could claim to have done enough to have nailed down a place. Vijay hit half-centuries in both innings of the first Test but had a top score of just 19 in his next four innings, Rahul made two scores in the thirties, Dhawan averaged just nine in his two innings and Gambhir - statistically the pick of the bunch - scored 29 and 50 in his two knocks.Injuries to Dhawan and Rahul, as well as another potential option Rohit Sharma, mean Vijay and Gambhir will almost certainly fill the openers berths in Rajkot. But whether the pair will still be in favour by the end of the series remains to be seen.Kohli can be got atFor many, Virat Kohli is the best batsman on the planet, a supreme all-round player who continues to excel in every form of the game. And yet, there is reason to believe that England could have some joy against the India skipper. New Zealand showed that Virat Kohli can be got at for much of their Test series in India Indeed, while he tops the ICCs T20 batting rankings and is second only to AB de Villiers in the ODI standings, he is a comparatively lowly 16th when it comes to Tests - below both Joe Root (fifth) and Alastair Cook (11th) - and is not even his countrys highest-ranked player, that honour falls to Ajinkya Rahane (sixth).Even if you ignore the rankings - and 16th in the world is still some achievement - Kohlis recent form in the longer format has been decidedly mixed and he struggled to make an impact in his first four innings in the New Zealand series with scores of nine, 18, nine and 45. That he fell to pace bowlers in three of those innings should also give Englands impressive seam attack reason for optimism.The caveat to all of this? It was spin that did for him in his fifth innings of that series… after he had smashed a career-best 211.Win the tossWith spin expected to play such a big part in the series on pitches that are likely to deteriorate and making batting increasingly difficult as the game goes on, the toss could play a significant part in deciding the outcome. Kohli has reason to smile given Indias recent home form - but how much has winning the toss helped? India have won the toss in each of their last eight Tests on home soil, winning seven and drawing the other. Indeed, since Kohli took over from MS Dhoni as Test captain, he has won seven consecutive tosses in home matches, picking up six wins. In comparison he has called correctly only three times in 10 Tests abroad, of which India won only four.Of course, winning the toss is no guarantee of success for England but given Indias hugely impressive record in home conditions, it would certainly be a decent start.Life without DhoniIt is coming up to two years since Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket, the wicketkeeper calling it a day after the drawn Boxing Day Test in Melbourne confirmed Indias defeat in the series. Wriddhiman Saha has taken the glove since MS Dhonis retirement and bats at No 8 Kohli took over the captaincy and since a one-off Test in Bangladesh ended in a draw, India have won their last four series by an aggregate score of 10-1 to rise to the top of the Test rankings.Dhonis retirement has though altered the balance of the side and led to a reshuffle. As well as leading the bowling attack, the pressure is on Ashwin to do his bit with the bat as well having been bumped up to No 7.That is to accommodate Wriddhiman Saha, who has taken over behind the stumps and slots in at eight. However, after two half-centuries in three innings during the New Zealand series, averaging 112, he may be looking for a promotion himself before long.Watch the first Test between India and England from 3.30am on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports 2 HD. Also See: Englands XI for the first Test? Ashwin: Indias spin wizard India v England flash points DRS: Indias new dimension Jordan Matthews Jersey . -- Miguel Angel Jimenez quickly shifted his focus back to the Ryder Cup after winning his first Champions Tour event. Marquise Goodwin Jersey .twitter.com/xBTpoAKLJk — Daryl Zerr (@darylzerr) May 29, 2014 @BarDown I give to you the @SquirrelsNCHL aka the Fighting Squirels. http://www.cheap49ersjerseysauthentic.co...law-jersey . -- At the beginning of training camp, Andrew Bogut set a goal to play all 82 regular-season games and regain his place among the NBAs best centres.Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Russell Westbrook supplied 34 points with six assists and six rebounds in the Oklahoma City Thunders 111-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. Kevin Durant and Steven Adams each scored 16 points, with Adams adding 11 rebounds in the win. Anthony Morrow and Serge Ibaka netted 14 and 13, respectively. Oklahoma City has won five straight and seven of its last eight, improving to 5-1 since Durant returned to the lineup from foot sugery. Andrew Wiggins, coming off his first career double-double in Wednesdays win over Portland, deposited 18 points with five rebounds. Shabazz Muhammad also scored 18 points for the Timberwolves and Thaddeus Young added 16 points with five boards. Westbrook led a very efficient Thunder offense in the first quarter. His 10 points led a 59-percent shooting effort over the opening 12 minutes for Oklahoma City. Ibakas 3-pointer just before the midway point made it 20-7, then Morrows triple made it a 22-point margin before the Timberwolves closed the frame with fouur straight points to cut the deficit to 39-21. Y.A. Tittle Jersey. Muhammad scored four points during an 8-0 burst early in the second to trim the deficit to 13, but the Thunder managed to extend their lead to 70-49 at the half. Minnesota, which lost for the seventh time in eight tries, cut the deficit to 93-77 after three quarters, and Corey Brewers layup at the eight-minute mark of the fourth made it an 11-point deficit. Durant answered with a 3-pointer and the Timberwolves went cold from there. Youngs jumper ended a 2:39 scoreless string for the hosts before Oklahoma City netted six straight to push the advantage to 104-86 with over three minutes left. Game Notes Minnesota guard Mo Williams missed his third straight game with back spasms, while Kevin Martin (wrist), Ricky Rubio (ankle) and Nikola Pekovic (ankle/wrist) also missed the contest for the Wolves ... OKC is 18-3 in its last 21 against Minnesota ... The Thunder held a 54-44 edge in the paint and also outrebounded their opponent 47-31. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '
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