IND vs ENG: 2nd Test Preview – Hosts eye series parity against high-flying England

England’s Bazball reigned supreme over India in the first Test of the five-match series as they beat the hosts by 28 runs at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. The Ben Stokes-led side showed great character in coming back in the game after being 190 runs behind in the first innings courtesy of a scintillating innings of 196 by Ollie Pope.

Later on, debutant Tom Hartley shone with his 7-fer as he restricted India’s famed batting lineup from chasing 231. Following their sensational win, England are riding high on confidence which is evident through their post-match comments with both head coach Brendon McCullum and players putting pressure on the Indian side.

On the other hand, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma finds himself in a never-seen-before territory after losing the first Test of a home series. The Indian skipper has been under fire by several pundits as he let the game drift away in the second innings with all his tactics failing on the ground.

To make matters worse, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul have been sidelined for the second game due to injuries. The Indian skipper will have the huge task of finalising the playing combination and selecting the best possible replacement for the star duo for the second Test and will also have the burden of carrying the batting lineup on his shoulders.

The upcoming game will be a tough Test for the skipper Rohit and the inexperienced batting lineup which was brought down to their knees by a rookie spin attack of England. Having faced a knockout punch in the first Test itself, the world’s most dominant Test side will be desperate for a comeback while the adventurous England will be even hungrier for the next challenge.

Pitch Report

A total of two Test matches have been played at the venue and both have been won by teams batting first. The average first innings score has been 478 while the highest fourth innings score has been 191. The captain winning the toss is likely to bat first and make the most of the good batting conditions on offer before the wicket deteriorates further.

Probable Playing XI

India (IND)

Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Srikar Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav

England (ENG)

Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (wk), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir