India in England: Five Indian players to watch out for during the Test series

As India begins its hunt for a fourth Test series win on England soil, we take a look at the core team members who will be the key against the Poms.

KL Rahul -- The charismatic young Indian opener has been in good touch of late, regardless of the format. Having scored a decent 54 in the historic Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru last month, Rahul would be looking to carry the momentum forward in England. However, what needs to be noted that this would be Rahul's very first outing in England in the longest format of the game. He did a fair job in the just-concluded limited-overs series, buts Test cricket is a different ball game. Moreover, Rahul's last overseas outing, in South Africa, did not go as he would have planned. Scoring just 30 runs in two Tests, Rahul would be desperate to improve his stature overseas. Nevertheless, it seems he is having a great time in England so far, courtesy of his good outing in the limited-overs. And, if he could carry forward that momentum, the England bowlers could be at the receiving end. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
Virat Kohli --Indeed, all eyes would be on him once the five-Test series gets underway. Not because he is currently the world's best batsman, but interestingly, he has had a poor record in England. His last tour of England, back in 2014, did not go well as he would have wanted. Having scored just 134 runs from the five Tests, Kohli was on the receiving end of the critics. The year 2014 is long gone and in terms of batting, there has been an massive change, which was evident during India's overseas Test tour in South Africa, earlier, this year. Having scored 286 runs from the three Tests, Kohli played a pivotal role in helping India to make a comeback, in the team's respectable 2-1 series defeat. Nonetheless, Kohli's recent form in England during the ODIs has been commendable, scoring 191 runs from three matches. If he manages to carry in the same vein of form, the English bowlers definitely have their task cut out. Photo: AFP
Dinesh Karthik --This is a different story altogether now. Dinesh Karthik last played a Test match in England 10 years ago, in 2007. But, interestingly, he was the highest run-scorer for his side, with 263 runs from three Tests. However, things change a lot in 10 years, and so they do have this time. Nonetheless, he has been in good touch in the limited-overs format and so the Test recall. In the three-match ODI series, he got to play one match and scored 21. In the warm-up game against Essex leading up to the Test series, he scored 82, which could be a much-needed boost to his confidence. With Wriddhiman Saha out of the Test series due to injury, Karthik has a major role to play behind the wickets, and with the bat down the order. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
Kuldeep Yadav -- The talented chinaman has exceeded expectations and with his lethal spin dismantling every batting order worldwide, England is going to be no different. Having claimed seven wickets against Ireland in the two T20Is in Dublin, followed it up with five wickets against England in T20Is and nine wickets later in the three ODIs, Kuldeep has well proved his worth on this tour so far. However, it would be interesting to see how he turns up during the Tests, where his skill-set will be tested. Having only played only couple of Tests so far, which makes him relatively inexperienced in the format. But it won't put him under pressure having already done his fair bit of rounds at the international level. If Kuldeep manages to get into the groove, the English batsmen would have a tough time throughout the series. Photo: PTI
Umesh Yadav -- With Bhuvneshwar Kumar out of the series, Umesh Yadav will shoulder India's pace attack in his absence. Having claimed 10 wickets on this tour so far, followed by a four-wicket haul in the warm-up tie against Essex, he has put himself in the right spot to be in the playing XI for the first Test. Umesh is not someone who could swing the ball off the pitch but a hit the deck bowler like him can surprise the batsmen with his pace. In English conditions, the challenge for him would be to find the right line and length, where he usually struggles at the start of his spell. Photo: K. Murali Kumar