Beginning this afternoon, India and England will over the next six weeks engage each other in five Test cricket series. It is sure to be a watershed in the careers of India’s captain Virat Kohli and his team.
Despite the mass appeal of shorter formats of cricket, the five-day game is still regarded by cricketers as the ultimate test of skill and temperament. Doing well in Tests is an essential requirement for an individual cricketer or a team to be considered great.
For all the passion Indians have for cricket, the country’s 86 year record in Test cricket shows that it’s rarely successful overseas. England, in particular, has been where some of the most ignominious defeats have been recorded.
Virat Kohli and some of his current teammates had an unhappy tour of England in 2014. All of them have grown in stature since that summer. The current tour, therefore, presents an opportunity to change the narrative about Indian cricketers being poor travellers. The current generation of cricketers are perhaps better equipped than their predecessors to win overseas.
The old adage in cricket is that bowlers win matches. Arguably, India has never had more depth and diversity in terms of bowling options. Be it pace or spin, India has quality at its disposal. The only thing left is to win.