How to watch India vs England for free: Live stream the first Test match of England’s tour of India

The England cricket team are touring India for a lengthy series comprising of four Test matches, five T20 Internationals and three one day internationals. The best part about the upcoming Test series is that anyone that lives in the UK can watch all the action completely free.

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has won the rights to show England’s tour of India. This marks the first time since the 2005 Ashes that a Test series will be shown on terrestrial British television. Sky Sports usually broadcast Test series featuring the English cricket team, as they have been since 1989-1990.

This will undoubtedly come as great news to UK viewers who have already spent most of 2021 in lockdown as the country is slowly amping up its vaccination programmes to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It may also help revive interest in cricket in a country where football is far-and-away the dominant sport.

Even though three of the four Test matches start at 4am UK time, it will still mean that UK viewers will be able to watch the final two sessions of each day’s play. The third Test is India’s first day-night Test match and will start at a more favourable 9am UK start time. All the T20s and ODIs will start at times that will be more suitable to UK audiences, but there’s no confirmation yet as to whether this will be on Channel 4 or another broadcaster.

Adding to the hype around the series is the fact that both teams are currently in peak form, having recently registered wins in their last Test series abroad. England won both Tests on their recent tour to Sri Lanka, with skipper Joe Root scoring 426 runs, at an average of over 100. In the bowling department, it was Dom Bess and Jack Leach who found themselves among the top wicket-takers.

But their job won’t be easy against an Indian side that are always dominant on home turf. Like England, India have just returned from a Test series win in Australia, which was made even more impressive because it was India’s younger stars that came good for them when it mattered the most, while their experienced players were nursing injuries on the sidelines.

England’s tour of India (February-March 2021): Fixtures

India vs England Test Fixtures

  • First Test: 5 February at Chennai (4am UK time; 9:30am local time)
  • Second Test: 13 February at Chennai (4am UK time; 9:30am local time)
  • Third Test: 24 February at Ahmedabad (9am UK time; 2:30pm local time)
  • Fourth Test: 4 March at Ahmedabad (4am UK time; 9:30am local time)

India squad for the first two Tests: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Srikar Bharat, Shahbaaz Nadeem

England squad for the first two Tests: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Dom Bess, Jos Buttler, Rory Burns, Ben Foakes, Zak Crawley, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi

India vs England T20 Fixtures

  • First T20: 12 March at Ahmedabad (1:30pm UK time; 7pm local time)
  • Second T20: 14 March at Ahmedabad (1:30pm UK time; 7pm local time)
  • Third T20: 16 March at Ahmedabad (1:30pm UK time; 7pm local time)
  • Fourth T20: 18 March at Ahmedabad (1:30pm UK time; 7pm local time)
  • Fifth T20: 20 March at Ahmedabad (1:30pm UK time; 7pm local time)

India vs England T20 ODI Fixtures

  • First ODI: 23 March at Pune (8am UK time; 1:30pm local time)
  • Second ODI: 26 March at Pune (8am UK time; 1:30pm local time)
  • Third ODI: 28 March at Pune (9am UK time; 1:30pm local time)

How to watch India vs England in the UK for free: Channel 4

As we mentioned before, Channel 4 will be broadcasting every ball of the upcoming Test series between India and England. Provided you pay for your UK TV license, you’ll know that Channel 4 is available as a free-to-view channel. And of course if you’re online, you can also live stream England tour to India via the Channel 4 Live website.

Watch Channel 4 live

How to watch India vs England in India: Disney+ Hotstar

Star own the rights to the entire series and if you live in India, you’ll be able to watch every ball of all the Tests, T20s and ODIs on Disney+ Hotstar. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for the service if you live in India because it isn’t free, like in the UK.

Disney+ Hotstar has three tiers but to watch England tour of India, you’ll need to be either on the VIP or Premium tier because the game isn’t available on the free version of the service. To watch the games, you’ll need to subscribe to either the Disney+ Hotstar VIP package that costs INR 399/month or the Premium package that costs INR 299/month, or INR 1,499/year.

Subscribe to Disney+ Hotstar

Will India vs England be available on Disney Plus UK when Star launches on 23 Feb?

In recent weeks there’s been a lot of confusion about whether Disney+ will broadcast the tournament when their sixth brand Star launches in the UK on 23 February. However, Disney has assured us that that won’t be the case because Star (the company that owns the rights to the series) is not related to Hotstar that is the official broadcaster of England’s tour to India in India.

How to watch India vs England abroad: use a good VPN service

The only way that you can access Channel 4 and Disney+ Hotstar from outside the UK and India respectively is by using a good VPN service. For both services, you’ll need to create an account if you don’t have one, but it’s free to do so via the Channel 4 website in the UK, whereas you’ll need to subscribe to the Disney+ Hotstar VIP or Premium plan to watch the games from India.

A VPN basically works by creating a secure connection between your device and servers located anywhere in the world. To choose Channel 4 or Disney Plus, simply select the UK or India within the VPN you’re using. Apart from letting you access geo-restricted content in another region, a VPN works by encrypting all your browsing traffic so that no one – not even your ISP – can see what you do online.

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