⚡️London: Battered after yet another deflating series defeat, the Indian cricket team will be aiming to pick up pieces while spoiling Alastair Cook’s farewell party in the fifth and final Test against England starting Friday.

⚡️With England taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series, the final match at the Oval is only of academic importance but Virat Kohli will want to finish on a definite high.

⚡️A scoreline of 2-3 will definitely look much better than 1-4 and India will any day take Test win.

⚡️Chief coach Ravi Shastri has tried to keep the morale of the team high by calling it the “best travelling side in last 15 years”, something that is not corroborated by facts.

Source: DtNext. 

⚡️England, after going 2-0 up, are enjoying a well-deserved break and will be back in the nets on Thursday. The Indian team too is in the middle of a similar break and on Wednesday morning they hoisted the Tricolour in London to mark Independence Day before starting for Nottingham. They too will train from Thursday. Virat Kohli, though, has more on his plate than his English counterpart Joe Root.

Source: TOI


⚡️This rivetting Test between two unsure-batting units has now turned into a bodily sensation: stomach-churning, teeth-grinding, a four-letter cuss word twitching to get out of the mouth at every close shave. What follows now is a wait. India will wait for Virat Kohli to pull off a heist. England will wait for a ball to swing one inch more than what the Indians anticipate. Indians don’t do waiting all that well. Especially when the ball swings around. They are pretty okay handling seam or even decent pace these days but swing breaks their soul. Nothing disintegrates their balance like swing.

Source: The Indian Express. 

⚡️England will be lying back and thinking of Virat Kohli’s wicket when heads hit the pillows in Birmingham, according to James Anderson. When asked if the India captain’s innings was essentially standing between England and victory after a thrilling third day, Anderson admitted that was “more than likely” the case.

⚡️England need five wickets for victory but Kohli has already frustrated them in this Test, punishing two dropped chances in the first innings with a brilliant century and marshalling the tail to bring India back into the match.

Source: ESPNCricInfo, Hindustan Times

⚡️Those who don’t know, after running Joe Root out, Virat Kohli mocked his mic-drop celebration from the Headingley ODI series decider and asked him – politely – to leave even though he was on his way anyway. That moment grew in significance with every wicket of the ensuing collapse. It has grown so big that people had more to talk about Kohli’s celebration than the beautiful Ashwin spell. That is part of drama that sport is, and Joe Root’s views are not too different. This is what he told Sky:

⚡️I didn’t see it in the middle. I obviously saw it last night at the end of play. I actually think it adds to the whole spectacle of Test cricket, it gives a bit of humour to it, and it makes for a very entertaining series for something like that to happen so early on, so we’ll see how things pan out over the course of the five Test matches.

Source: ESPNCricInfo

⚡️KL Rahul has the potential to be the ‘next Sachin Tendulkar or Sunil Gavaskar’ and will play a very important role in India’s upcoming series against England, former India player Farokh Engineer has stated.

Source: First Post. 

⚡️Virat Kohli’s numbers as captain – 21 wins out of 35 – are quite impressive.
⚡️His peers insist that he allows players to express themselves may be a little more than Dhoni did.
⚡️If things start falling in place, every move that Kohli has made over the last one year will be vindicated.

Source: TOI

⚡️Chennai Super Kings’ batting consultant and Australia’s former batting mainstay, Mike Hussey, expects the forthcoming India-England Test series to be one of compelling drama as opposed to the last two Indian tours that fizzled out much before they could evince any interest.

⚡️“It should be a fantastic series. India has a great chance of doing well. It has a good team playing good cricket. It has been in England for over a month now and would have got acquainted with the conditions and the Duke ball,” said the 43-year-old. That India is playing in the second half of the English summer should play into its hands, feels Hussey.

Source: DtNext

⚡Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun did not have an ideal start to his career as India U-19 player as he managed to take only a wicket in the first Sri Lankan innings and he did not bother the scorers, getting out for a duck.

Source: The Indian Express.

⚡️Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav have been picked in India’s 18-man squad for the first three Tests in England. While Kuldeep was part of India’s squad for the Afghanistan Test in June, this was a maiden Test call-up for Pant, who has followed up a smashing IPL with important innings for the India A side in England. The selectors named the squad for only the first three matches of the five-Test series.

Source: ESPNCricInfo, The Indian Express.