After facing a surprise 227-run defeat in the opening Test of the four-match series against England, the Indian team will come out with all guns blazing to display a fighting spirit in the second Test in front of the crowds after a more than 11-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a historic series win in the Down Under, Virat Kohli and company will eye another comeback in the series after losing the series opener.
India’s batting line-up failed in the first Test and that was the biggest reason for the hosts’ defeat at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. Openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma need to step-up for the side to provide a solid foundation while Chesteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Virat Kohli will look to convert their starts into big innings.
Swashbuckling batsman Rishabh Pant, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Washington Sundar have performed well in the first innings against the top-class English bowlers.
On the other hand, Indian bowlers will look to find a solution for English batters in the second Test. Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma will try to get back in rhythm while Ashwin will look to continue his dominance on the spinning track.
India may try Kuldeep Yadav or Axar Patel in the second game as Shahbaz Nadeem struggled with his bowling run-up and bowled nine no-balls in the first Test.
Patel has recovered completely and is now available for selection. The all-rounder had complained of pain in his left knee and was ruled out of the first Test.
England skipper Joe Root is in great form and Indian bowlers need to come up with a fresh approach against him in the series. Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, and Ollie Pope are also not easy wickets to send back to the pavilion.
For England, Ben Foakes is set to take over wicketkeeping duties from Jos Buttler who ended his India tour after the first Test.
With spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess, visitors bowling packs a solid unit including pacers Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Jofra Archer will miss the second Test after having an injection in his right elbow.
The series will decide which team will meet New Zealand in the World Test Championship final at Lord’s in June.
England jumped to first place with 70.2 winning on the points table and they’ve improved their chances of securing one of the three series results in their favour that could see them through to the final — 3-1, 3-0 or 4-0.
India slipped to fourth in the WTC rankings after the loss. Australia are third. India needs to win by at least a 2-1 margin to make it to the finals of WTC.
India squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur.
England squad: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Ollie Pope.
The second Test of the series will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai with 50 percent spectators on Saturday.