With only a day to go for the start of the much-anticipated five-match Test series between India and England, all eyes would be on aggressive skipper Virat Kohli as he readies to motivate his boys and avenge the 2012 home series loss against Alastair Cook’s men.
India are playing a five-match Test series at home after a long time and having already started the home season on high with a 3-0 clean sweep of New Zealand, and topping the ICC Test rankings, hopes of India’s fans would be at its peak.
On the other hand, England, who recently tasted their first Test defeat against Bangladesh in Dhaka, would look to put behind that embarrassing loss and come up with an improved performance in India.
However, without the services of 2012 heroes, Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, it will be a herculean task for Cook to re-instate the confidence and inspire his team when they would take on the No.1 rankers in their den.
India's head coach Anil Kumble has already stated that the team would not be taking the opposition lightly, especially considering the fact that there are players of the caliber and quality of Joe Root, Cook and James Anderson besides others, who can easily take away the game on their own.
Kumble's concern can also be backed by the recent Test history of the two teams. India have lost the last three Test series (2011 and 2014 in England and in 2012 series at home) to the current No. 4 Test-ranked side.
India made their Test debut against England, playing the first international match at Lord's back in June 1932, losing by 158 runs.
It took India seven defeats and seven draws before they registered their first Test match win over England, beating the visitors at Chennai in February 1952.
So far, the two sides have locked horns 112 times in Test matches, out of which England have won 43, India 21 and the rest 48 have been draws.
If we go by the records in their home conditions, out of 57 Tests played in England, India have won only six, lost 30 and the other 21 have been drawn.
On the other hand, out of 54 Tests played in India, England have won 13, lost 15 and the other 26 have resulted in draws.
Considering the recent form of the two teams, cricket pundits have already put their money on the No. 1 ranked Test side.
So, get ready for an engaging two months of fierce Test battle between India and England.
Here is a quick fact check and a summary of results of Test series played between the two nations from the year 2000:
England in India (2001/02)
India won the three-match series 1-0 after defeating England by 10 wickets in the first Test at Mohali. The other two Tests played at Ahmedabad and Bengaluru (then Bangalore) ended in draws.
India in England (2002)
The four-match series ended with 1-1. England defeated India in the first Test at Lord's by 170 run. The second Test at Nottingham ended in a draw. India won the third Test by an innings and 46 runs at Leeds and the fourth and the final Test at the Oval ended in a draw.
England in India (2005/06)
The three-match series ended with 1-1. The first Test at Nagpur ended in a draw, the second at Mohali was won by India by nine wickets and England won the last Test by 212 runs in Mumbai.
Pataudi Trophy [India in England] (2007)
India had for the very first time since 1971 won a series in England. The three-match series was won by India 1-0.
The first Test at Lord's ended in a draw, India won the second Test at Nottingham by seven wickets and the third and the final Test ended in a draw.
England in India (2008/09)
India won the two-match series 1-0. The first Test played at Chennai was won by India by six wickets and the second Test played at Mohali ended in a draw.
Pataudi Trophy [India in England] (2011)
England thrashed India 4-0 in the four-match series, having won the first Test at Lord's by 195 runs, the second Test at Nottingham by 319 runs, the third Test at Birmingham by an innings and 242 runs and the last Test at The Oval by an innings and eight runs.
England in India (2012/13)
India tasted a heart-wrenching 2-1 series defeat in home conditions against England.
India won the opening Test at Ahmedabad by nine wickets but suffered successive defeats at Mumbai and Kolkata respectively. The final Test ended in a draw.
Pataudi Trophy [India in England] (2014)
England won the five-match series 3-1. The opening Test played at Nottingham resulted in a draw. The second Test at Lord's was won by India by 95 runs. But the remaining three Tests were won by the hosts.
FIXTURES (all start at 0400 GMT):
1st Test - Nov. 9-13, Rajkot
2nd Test - Nov. 17-21, Visakhapatnam
3rd Test - Nov. 26-30, Chandigarh
4th Test - Dec. 8-12, Mumbai
5th Test - Dec. 16-20, Chennai
Test rankings: 1
Captain: Virat Kohli
Coach: Anil Kumble
Squad: Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Karun Nair, Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Hardik Pandya
Test rankings: 4
Captain: Alastair Cook
Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Squad: Cook, Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Haseeb Hameed, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, James Anderson.
HEAD TO HEAD:
England wins: 43
India wins: 21
Total matches: 55
India wins: 15
England wins: 13