They won in 1971 (under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy), in 1986 (under Kapil Dev’s captaincy), and in 2007 (under Rahul Dravid’s captaincy). After 2007, India toured England three times, but couldn’t clinch the series (2011, 2014 & 2018).
But, this time, Team India is brimming with confidence. After defeating Australia in their own den for the second consecutive time, India will be fancying their chances against the English in England.
This will be a long Test series. Virat Kohli‘s men are scheduled to play five Tests against England. The opening Test will be played from August 4 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
24-year-old medium pacer Avesh Khan, who was one of Delhi Capitals’ standout bowlers in IPL 2021, before the tournament was suspended will be travelling with the Indian team to the UK as one of four standby players. Avesh is confident that India will emerge victorious against the Three Lions this time.
Avesh Khan (BCCI/IPL/PTI Photo)
“After the Australia triumph, a win in England will be beautiful. I am sure Virat bhai will take India to a series win in England,” Avesh told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
But before the Test series against England, India will have to play the Kiwis in the final of the World Test championship. The winner will be crowned the Test champions of the world, regardless of the rankings. That match will begin on June 18 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
“It is a big match (India vs NZ WTC final) for us. Our team has reached this level after winning a number of matches. We are just one win away from the title. Our team is looking confident and solid and can beat New Zealand. I am confident we will win the title,” Avesh further said.
LIKE NATARAJAN, AVESH READY FOR EVERY CHALLENGE
Tamil Nadu speedster T Natarajan was picked as a net bowler for the Australia series. However due to certain injuries he went on to become a part of the Indian pace armoury and made his international debut in all three formats on the same tour (Australia), becoming the first Indian cricketer to do so. And he delivered.
On being asked if he will be ready if a similar situation arises in England, Avesh said ‘he is ready for every opportunity’.
Avesh Khan (TOI Photo)
“I am focussed on the England tour now. I have been included in the stand-by players’ list. I am just keen to learn a lot and am not thinking about anything else. If an opportunity comes, I will grab it with both hands,” Avesh told TimesofIndia.com.
“All I want to do is give my best. Be it in the nets or training sessions, I want to be on top of everything. I will be preparing Indian batsmen at the nets. Natarajan went as a net bowler (to Australia) and when he got the opportunity, he delivered. If I am given chances by my captain and coaches, I will be ready.” he said.
LEARNING FROM DHAWAN AND BONHOMIE WITH PANT
Avesh was part of India’s 2016 Under-19 World Cup campaign which also had the likes of Rishabh Pant, his IPL team Delhi Capitals’ captain. They both understand each other and their on-field coordination and bonhomie is pretty evident.
“I have played with Rishabh during the Under-19 days. We are really good friends and have a good understanding between us. Shikhar bhai helped me a lot during the matches. He has taught me how to keep calm in crunch situations. He has motivated me a lot during the tournament (IPL),” Avesh told TimesofIndia.com.
Avesh, who was the highest wicket-taker for India in the U-19 World Cup campaign in 2016, with 12 scalps in 6 matches, claimed 14 wickets in 8 matches in IPL 2021 before the tournament was called off indefinitely after players and support staff of various franchises tested positive for Covid-19.
“IPL taught me a lot. Ahead of the IPL, I had worked a lot on my line and length. I had some plans. Those plans worked really well for me in the IPL. Dismissing big players like Faf, Virat bhaiya and Dhoni bhai was a big thing for me. Virat bhaiya’s and Dhoni bhai’s were my two favourite wickets in the IPL (2021). It was a huge learning experience for me,” Avesh signed off.