back icon


From 2021 to 2022: what has changed for England and India

Last updated on 29 Jun 2022 | 11:55 AM
Google News IconFollow Us
From 2021 to 2022: what has changed for England and India

India are one Test away from sealing a historic series win in England

Over the last 298 days, when these two sides last met each other, a whole lot in Test cricket has changed. Australia have toppled India at the top of the World Test Championship under their new skipper, Pat Cummins, who took over from Tim Paine. 

India’s skipper across all the three formats have changed hands, from Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma. Ravi Shastri, one of the hottest properties as a head coach has since then been replaced by an Indian legend, Rahul Dravid. India have moved on from the duo of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, to Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. 

England have moved on completely from the side that played the fourth Test against India. Joe Root, one of the most prolific Test skippers for the Three Lions has since been dethroned by Ben Stokes. Chris Silverwood, who was England’s coach has moved across continents and oceans to become Sri Lanka’s head coach.

Brendon McCullum, New Zealand’s legend has taken over the reign in English cricket. Moeen Ali has announced retirement, worked as a pundit and later also has, unretired. That’s how much the world has changed since the time these two sides played each other, with the series being the longest since the start of 2000s. 

Read: England’s exhilarating fast ride in the Baz-ball lane

Will it be too much to dream Shastri, Kohli, Rohit and Rahul Dravid lifting the trophy? However, the series isn’t done yet, India just lead the series 2-1, and still need that one win to make history. 

The recap from last year

The first Test at Trent Bridge was anti-climactic. England were shot down for just 183, with India taking a lead of 95 runs, on the back of Rahul’s impressive 84. While England scored 303 in their second innings, India needed 157 runs to win, from 98 overs on the final day. On a day where rain wasn’t predicted, it was the rain which had a final say, denying India a shot at a victory. 

However, at Lord’s, India had the final say. It was a memorable Test in all measures, it was a Test that celebrated the Indian pace-bowling unit. KL Rahul’s 129 had a major say in the Test but Mohammed Siraj’s eight-wicket haul in the Test combined with efforts from Shami, Bumrah and Ishant headlined the win.

Come to Headingley, India succumbed to one of their biggest defeats in England, crashing to just 78 in the first innings. From thereon, it was only a matter of time, as the hosts won by an innings and 76 runs, a Test India would want to forget. 

India’s relation with London was poetic. Both their victories during the England tour came in the capital city. It was the Test that cemented Rohit’s place in legacy, with the now Indian captain scoring a monumental century (127), leading India to a 157-run win. 14 of the 20 wickets were picked by the Indian pacers in that Test. 

Changes in personnel


If there is one person who knows the feeling of winning in England, it is India’s current head coach Dravid. Under the tutelage of Dravid, India head out once again to England to bring the series home. 

Last time in England, Rohit’s place wasn’t even a guarantee but on the back of his 368-run display, he is India’s Test captain. But Rohit testing positive just days before the fifth Test changes the complexion yet again. In that case, would Virat walk back as a captain or will India go to Jasprit Bumrah, who currently ahead of Rishabh Pant to the throne? 

Since the last time these two sides met, Rahane has not just been stripped of his vice-captaincy but also has been excluded from the Indian squad having averaged just 21.88 since the England series. He is out of this series as well.

However, Pujara, who wasn’t in the plans for the home series against Sri Lanka, returns to the squad on the back of his form in the County Championship. Albeit it being Division 2, the right-hander smashed 720 runs in the County, averaging a staggering 120, an improved strike-rate of 61.12 while celebrating four centuries. 


Since the last time these two clashed, change has been the only constant. England too have had a change of guard, from Silverwood to McCullum; Root to Stokes. While Root was the most successful English skipper, the Three Lions’ record in the last year was abysmal. Since 2020, England have a win-percentage of 38.7, winning 12 and losing as many across 31 Tests. 

Only five players have survived to keep their place in the playing XI. The likes of Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes have been nowhere near the playing XI.

To add to that, in that last year, Moeen has retired, ‘unretired’ and also expressed his desire to play in the Pakistan series. While Robinson and Woakes have been injured, the others’ indifferent form has resulted in them being pushed miles away from the squad. 

Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Stuart Broad and Jack Leach have not just replaced them in the playing XI but also established their own credentials meanwhile. 

Positive changes for England and India


Since McCullum has taken over, England have been the side to watch. Even with a 40% chance to win the Test, the Three Lions have not backed down from a fight and in fact, have changed that lower percentage chance into a win, be it at Lord’s or Trent Bridge.

In four innings since McCullum’s charge, the top-order average 37.5 runs, at a strike-rate of 54.9. Before McCullum’s reign, the Three Lions’ openers averaged just 23, and scored at a strike-rate of 39.7. The biggest change, however, for England has been in the middle-order, and the approach that they have taken thus far in the two Tests.

In Tests between Jan 1, 2021, to Jun 1, 2022, the English middle-order has scored 8783 runs at a strike-rate of 51.4, averaging 31.6. However, in the last four innings, the middle-order not only averages 55.9, a +24.3 runs but also strike at 78.8, a boost of 27.4. That stands as the biggest change in McCullum’s England setup. 


While England have had a lot to change, on the back of their turmoil last year in Test cricket, India have had a rather set template with which they operate in the longest format. And largely, that has resulted in success for the Men in Blue. However, there has been one change: Shreyas Iyer. It has been long-time coming for the right-hander but his approach has been something to look forward to.

Iyer in four appearances for India, has scored 388 runs, with three 50s and a Test century averaging 55.43. While he wasn’t in India’s plans for the South Africa series, he will have to compete with Hanuma Vihari for a place in England. And since Iyer’s debut, only Daryl Mitchell averages more than the right-hander.

And talking about strike-rate, only Rishabh Pant (83.8) and Travis Head (77.7) strike-better than Iyer (67.1). That could be a big positive for India, heading into the fifth Test against England.

*All stats updated till the second Test between England and New Zealand

Related Article