India will take on England in their first home series of the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle 2023-25 beginning from January 25 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. The Ben Stokes-led side will arrive in India with their much-effective ‘Bazball’ style of play. They will hope to end the dominant home run of the Asian giants.
Notably, India hasn’t lost a Test series at home since 2013. The ‘Men in Blue’ lost just three games out of 46 in the same period. Ahead of the upcoming five-match series, former England spinner Monty Panesar, who played a pivotal role in England’s last win over India in 2012, opened up about the challenges for the Three Lions in the upcoming series.
Speaking about India’s batting strength, Panesar stated that the key man for England will be India captain Rohit Sharma who is the ‘Don Bradman of turning pitches’ according to him.
“Indian batters are attacking against the turning ball. They are a bit more fearless. The key man for India is going to be Rohit Sharma. He’s the Don Bradman of turning pitches. His record is unbelievable. England have to get Rohit out early right through to have a chance of winning the Test series. If England can keep Rohit quiet, India will be going to Plan B. You then put the younger batters under pressure. That is going to be key,” Panesar was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Rohit Sharma averages 66.73 in India
Notably, Rohit Sharma has an incredible record batting in India having scored 2002 runs from 36 innings at an average of 66.73 with eight hundreds and six fifties to his name. The 36-year-old has been in sensational form of late and will once again have the onus of carrying the inexperienced Indian batting along with Virat Kohli.
The upcoming series will be extremely crucial for both teams about WTC standings. India is currently on the second spot with a points percentage of 54.16. England is placed on the second last (eighth) spot with a points percentage of 15%.