Joe Root claims the England players “can make a bit of a statement” if they beat India in their five-match Test series.
England are currently fifth in the rankings while India will remain at the top of the standings regardless of the outcome of the series on English soil.
Root’s men have disappointed away from home in recent years but have only lost one series in England since 2012 so will no doubt pose a threat to India going into the first Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday – the hosts 1,000th Test match.
They recovered from defeats to both West Indies and South Africa to win the series at home in 2017 and bounced back from a heavy loss to Pakistan at Lord’s earlier in the summer to draw that series 1-1.
And Root, who confirmed on Tuesday that leg-spinner Adil Rashid will start the first Test following his controversial return to red-ball cricket, is looking for the players to stand up and be counted against India.
“We’ve got five games against the world’s number one-ranked side and we can make a bit of a statement if we play well and win this series,” he said.
“It’s going to be hard, they’ve got some world class players in their side and we’re going to have to be very consistent in performing. If we can do that then we’ll be deserved winners.
“You can see that hunger from the guys in the dressing room, I feel like we’re in a good place going into it and now it’s just about delivering when it matters.”
England are 1.91 to win the first Test, while India are 3.00 to come out on top and the draw is 4.50.