England's side for the First Test in India

Jonathan Trott

England begin their Test tour of India next week with the first Test on Thursday.

Here is the side they are likely to go with.

Alastair Cook

Cook is going to be under pressure in more ways than one. It is his first Test match as captain of England and his side will be looking to him to score big runs at the top of the order. He has been in superb form in the warm up games with a century and a 93 under his belt. Expect to see him dominate with the bat and in the field.

Nick Compton

Nick Compton is favoured to replace former captain Andrew Strauss at the top of the order. He started the warm up games poorly with a duck and a score of one but he has come back to form with two half centuries. Compton averaged 99 during the English summer and scored 1000 runs during the wettest part of the season in England.

Jonathan Trott

Expect to see Trott come in and do what he does best, regardless of when England lose their first wicket. He will bat all day, all night and then all day again if he is asked to do so. Trott is one of the only players in the England side with an average of over 50. He is the ideal player to have coming in if England need some calm after an early wicket.

Kevin Pietersen

Pietersen is under pressure to perform because many still feel that he shouldn’t have been allowed back into the side. Pietersen has an average of just under 50 and he has a lot of experience of playing in India having played IPL cricket regularly. KP will play the same whether he is coming in at 0-2 or 300-2.

Ian Bell

Ian Bell is one of the best batsmen technically that England have at their disposal. He plays textbook cricket shots in all conditions. He is fit and ready to go and his average of just under 47 should be much higher. He is a valuable player for England to have in their middle order because he can come in and make big runs.

Samit Patel

Patel has secured himself a place in the Test side because of his batting. He made a century in one of the warm up games and he has made 14 centuries in first class cricket with an average of just under 40. He is unlikely to be used as a front line spinner but he will provide valuable assistance in terms of giving Graeme Swann a rest.

Matt Prior

Prior is the best wicketkeeper batsman in the world at the moment and valuable to have coming in at number seven in the order. Prior has shown time and time again that he can come in and make a century in a Test match when England are hanging by a thread at five down. His wicketkeeping is superb and he often takes a lot more chances than he gives away.

Tim Bresnan

Bresnan is likely to be in the side because of the current heel injury that Stuart Broad is nursing. Bresnan is a hustle and bustle type bowler who is a lot quicker than he looks or gives the impression. He has a batting average in Tests of just over 36 and a bowling average of 30. He will be working hard to bring that bowling average down in this series.

Graeme Swann

Swann is the front line spinner for England and he should thrive in these conditions. There is a slight worry over his form because of the fact he missed the final warm up game to fly home as his daughter is unwell. However, he will be determined to succeed and prove himself in a country which has traditionally favoured spin bowling. If Swann cannot return in time for the first Test then expect Monty Panesar to take his place.

James Anderson

Anderson is England’s premier seam bowler and the best swing bowler in world cricket. Anderson lacks a bit of the pace that he once had but he is still very accurate and has enough variation to deceive any batsman on any surface and in varying conditions. Anderson has taken 276 Test wickets and will be aiming for 300 by the end of these four Tests.

Graham Onions

If Broad is not fit enough to take his place in the side then Onions will definitely play as Steven Finn is injured. Onions took over 60 wickets in his last first class season with a nine wicket haul in one innings. He has taken 32 wickets in nine Tests and has a better average than Anderson or Swann.

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