Birmingham: India started their tour of England on a high note with winning the T20I series by 2-1. England came back hard in the ODI series and sealed it by a similar margin.
The real deal will begin with red ball. There are some challenges waiting for both the teams.
However, India will fancy their chances, given the fact that England have a win percentage of only 20 in their last 10 Tests and Indian bowlers picked up 20 wickets in each of their three Tests on the tour of South Africa earlier this year.
India had combination dilemmas ahead of their first Test against South Africa this year and they are in a similar situation ahead of their first Test against England.
But while the sides were close in white-ball formats, the five-day match-up promises to be an especially intriguing one. For one, India are No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings, while England are No.5. However, Joe Root and his men have the home advantage and will want to make England’s 1000th Test a special one.
In their three-day warm-up game, the Indian pacers did well, and Kohli and Rahul were among the runs, but there was little clarity on what their top order would be and they were left with a few selection questions.
The hosts might have the home advantage, but their recent struggles in red-ball cricket have been alarming. They drew the home series against Pakistan, after away losses to New Zealand and Australia.
The timely return to form of Root and the good touch shown by Alastair Cook in the lead-up to the Test series bodes well for them.
England: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, M Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.
Pitch and condition
It is expected to be cloudy on Wednesday, 20-23 degree C.
Stats and trivia
1-5 August 2018
Start time: 11:00 Local (10:00 GMT)