India can host a home test series after almost a year and a half after the last home test, which was played in November 2019. 

Closed-doors practices, Covid training three rounds in the lead-up to the first session, team hotel blocked for outsiders, the home international season of India is expected to begin in a fortnight. 

In Chennai, the first two tests of the series will be played, followed by the next two in Ahmedabad. The series starts on February 5 and on January 27, both India and England are expected to arrive in Chennai. They can join the bio-bubble, to be set up in the same hotel with both teams.

India’s England tour will kickstart with the much-anticipated test series that will be crucial to the fortunes of both sides, especially India, as they strive to finish in the top two of the ICC World Test Championship table. India is currently in the numero-uno spot thanks to their 2-1 heist in Australia, but they do need to win by at least 2-0 to ensure they end ahead of New Zealand and book their final for the Lord’s summit clash. 

England, on the other hand, would have to win at least 3-0 if they expect to make it to Lord’s, in addition to winning the ongoing Test in Sri Lanka.

Schedule and venue:

Tests (Two in Chennai, two in Ahmedabad)

  • First Test: February 05-09, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, 09:30 AM IST
  • Second Test: February 13-17, MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, 09: 30 AM IST
  • Third Test: February 24-28, Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad, 02:30 PM IST [D/N Test]
  • Fourth Test: March 04-08, Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad, 09:30 AM IST

Squad (For first two Tests):

India: Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (WK), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur

England: Joe Root (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (WK), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns.

T2oIs (All in Ahmedabad)

  • First T20I, March 12, 07:00 PM IST
  • Second T20I, March 14, 07:00 PM IST
  • Third T20I, March 16, 07:00 PM IST
  • Fourth T20I, March 18, 07:00 PM IST
  • Fifth T20I, March 20, 07:00 PM IST

ODIs (All in Pune)

  • First ODI, March 23, 01:30 PM IST
  • Second ODI, March 26, 01:30 PM IST
  • Third ODI, March 28, 01:30 PM IST

Team News

Members of the England cricket team, including Captain Joe Root, arrived in the city for the four-match series on Wednesday. Root and Co flew in from Sri Lanka at about 10.30 AM and went to the hotel where representatives of the two teams will be put up as part of the bio-bubble, a Tamil Nadu Cricket Association official said. 

All-rounder Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer arrived in town on Sunday and are now in quarantine.

While a few Indian players arrived on Tuesday night, including star batsman Rohit Sharma and Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, some others arrived on Wednesday mornings, such as Cheteshwar Pujara, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant, star of the series-clinching victory in the Brisbane Test. 

Unit coach Ravi Shastri, like many other players from destinations around the country, flew in from Mumbai.

Where to watch

India’s February and March 2021 home series against England will be screened on the Star Sports network. On Disney Hotstar online, audiences can even live stream the same thing.

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