After losing the first Test in Chennai, India will need to dig deep to bounce back during the second Test against an upbeat England.
England came to India high on confidence after conquering turning tracks in Sri Lanka and managed to pull off an impressive victory despite the lack of training time in Chennai.
In particular, Joe Root and James Anderson starred for the side, and they could be looking at more chances to shine in the series.
On the other hand, India was brilliant in parts, but a bit of bad luck and lack of control from the inexperienced spinners affected them.
On a positive note, Virat Kohli got some time out in the middle during the second innings and may come back to the second Test rejuvenated after a year without a century.
The toss is likely to play a more significant role in the second Test than it did the first.
The first Test dished out a flat surface on the initial two days, which began misbehaving as the Test went on, but the texture was not as worn as expected even on the final day.
An excellent all-round performance from England made the pitch look easy to play on as well, with James Anderson finding fair amounts of reverse swing.
There are indications that the second Test’s surface may take a turn faster, making the pitch more challenging to play on as the Test progresses.
Both sides have some selection issues, with England losing a few players and India getting players back from injury.
Shubman Gill, and Rishabh Pant:
The youngsters have been impressive in their brief career so far and have stood up as the seniors struggled to deliver.
With India needing a win to fight back, Pant and Gill may provide the X-factor and effectively counter England on a slow pitch.
After a magnificent double century and a healthy series in Sri Lanka, the England team Captain maybe the park’s biggest wicket.
In the first Test, he didn’t give India a sniff, dominated the bowlers with his sweeps, and may do the same in the second Test.
Jos Butler has left the side after the first Test and is on his way home for a break before the Limited-overs leg.
Ben Foakes is likely to slot in after spending the last two years on the sidelines in Butler’s place.
Ben Foakes has proven his ability to keep on turning tracks and is a capable player of spin, with a man of the series award in Sri Lanka, back in 2018.
Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the second Test following an elbow injury.
He took an injection on his elbow after experiencing pain and is expected to recover for the third Test.
In his absence, Stuart Broad may slot in, reuniting Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Stuart Broad’s inclusion may put an end to England’s rotation plan, as they have looked to manage the old pair’s workload, playing them separately.
If they look to rest James Anderson and preserve him for the pink ball Test, England has Chris Woakes and Olly Stone on the sidelines.
Olly Stone is like a replacement, as he can bowl at a similar pace, and Chris Woakes may strengthen the batting.
Moeen Ali may be included for the second Test in place of Dom Bess after the off-spinner struggled to find his rhythm in the first Test.
Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood are also reported to return for the third Test after serving a break.
From India’s perspective, Axar Patel has recovered from a knee injury and may make his debut.
His inclusion may create some confusion regarding who sits out.
With Washington Sundar in fine batting form, India may find it tough to include Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.
With Shahbaz Nadeem struggling, and Axar Patel returning from injury, Sundar could find himself in a battle with Kuldeep Yadav, despite his batting efforts.
England’s Expected XI:
- Rory Burns
- Dom Sibley
- Dan Lawrence
- Joe Root (c)
- Ben Stokes
- Ollie Pope
- Ben Foakes (wk)
- Moeen Ali
- Jake Leach
- Olly Stone/Chris Woakes
- Stuart Broad
India’s Expected XI:
- Rohit Sharma
- Shubman Gill
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli ( c )
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Rishabh Pant ( wk )
- Washington Sundar/Axar Patel
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Shahbaz Nadeem/ Kuldeep Yadav
- Ishant Sharma
- Jasprit Bumrah
After dishing out a pitch that didn’t wear as expected, the Chepauk pitch for the second Test can be expected to turn faster than it did in the first game.
The dryness on the surface could cause the ball to stay low and allow the reverse swing to come into play soon.