Devoid of experience but propped up by a confident bunch of youngsters, India would be looking to wipe off the past scars and reverse their poor overseas record when they take on England in a five-Test series starting here tomorrow.
It is a great opportunity for a young visiting side as they play five back-to-back Tests in this hectic 42-day series. The next four Tests will be played at London (Lord’s), Southampton, Manchester and London again (The Oval).
Under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s last overseas Test win had come against the West Indies at Kingston in June 2011. Since then they have gone on to lose 0-8 in two tours to England and Australia.
A new overseas journey began in the 2013-14 season, which saw them play four overseas Tests in South Africa and New Zealand. But they couldn’t get back to winning ways, losing two and drawing two matches.
That, however, isn’t the only fact hurting Indian cricket. Their Test form against England has really seen a downward curve in the last two encounters as after the 0-4 embarrassment, they suffered a humiliating 1-2 loss at home in the 2012-13 season.
It was the first series win for England in India since 1984-85, one that marked their ascendancy in modern-day Test cricket.
However, things have changed a lot for the hosts since then. Their current Test squad bears a dissimilar look to the ones that dismantled India with such ease in their last two meetings.
Cricketers who really shone in those encounters are either suffering from poor form or fatigue — Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, James Anderson — while some — Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott — have vanished from the scene altogether.
The combination of Anderson and Swann (with ample support from Broad, Tim Bresnan and Monty Panesar at different times) proved lethal for India on both the previous occasions.