Axar Patel is likely to replace Shahbaz Nadeem as India’s second spinner for the IND vs ENG 2nd Test in Chennai as India aim to bounce back in the four-match Tests series after a disappointing defeat in the first Test at the same venue. India were thrashed by 227 runs in the opening match, their first Test defeat at home since 2017. Axar, who was set to make his Test debut in the opening match before being sidelined with a minor knee niggle, could eventually return for the second Test with Nadeem, who had a poor outing, relegated to the bench. Here, we take a look at India’s likely playing XI for the second Test. IND vs ENG 2nd Test 2021: Fit Axar Patel Back in Nets, Shahbaz Nadeem Set To Be Dropped; Chepauk Pitch Might Offer More Turn.
India were below par in the first Test with the visitors dominating the match from all aspects. Ravichandran Ashwin’s six-wickets in the second innings was the only positive thing from the spinners with Nadeem, who returned with match figures of 233/4, and Washington Sundar (0/99) disappointing. India’s fielding was also not up to the mark with the side guilty of dropping chances in the first innings when England piled on the runs. With the bat, only Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli and Sundar impressed while others around them faltered. So as, India plan to mount a comeback in the series, let’s take a look at the probable line-up for the hosts. IND vs ENG 2nd Test 2021: England Coach Chris Silverwood on Return of Fans in Stadium for 2nd Test, Says ‘It Will Be Fantastic’.
India Likely Playing XI for 2nd Test
Openers: Despite a disappointing opening match, Rohit Sharma is expected to keep his place in the side as one of the two opening batsmen. Rohit managed a combined score of 18 runs in the first Test and was guilty of dropping a catch in England’s first innings. But his track record at home should afford him another match. Shubman Gill scored a fine half-century in the second innings before being undone with a terrific delivery from James Anderson, which reversed back after pitching and took his off-stump. Gill and Rohit are likely to open the batting.
Middle Order: India have an established middle-order with Cheteshwar Pujara, captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane anchoring the innings. Rahane had a poor game in the first match but found enough backing from Kohli, who termed the 32-year-old as one of the team’s most important batsman, at the post-match conference. The middle-order should and will remain the same.
Wicket-Keeper: Rishabh Pant has cemented his place as the wicket-keeper batsman for the second Test match with a fabulous counter-attacking knock in the first innings of the opening Test. His 91 from 88 deliveries restricted England’s lead in the first innings and as long as Pant was at the crease, India were on top. He was deceived by Anderson’s change of pace in the second innings and was also poor behind the stumps. But should keep his place.
All-Rounder: India dealt a major blow after it was confirmed on Tuesday (February 10) that Ravindra Jadeja won’t be fit for the England Test series. Jadeja has also likely been ruled out from the ODI and T20I series as well. In his absence, Axar Patel, who missed the first Test due to an injury, could make his debut while Sundar is expected to keep his place in the playing XI. Sundar showed his value again with a fine 85-run knock in the first Test and only missed out on a century due to lack of a partner.
Bowlers: India is set to go ahead with the same bowling attack with Axar replacing Nadeem as the only change to the bowling attack. Ishant Sharma, who completed 300 Test wickets, and Jasprit Bumrah had a good game on a flat Chepauk pitch while Ashwin was excellent in both innings and finished the game with nine wickets, albeit in a losing cause.
India’s Probable XI For 2nd Test Against England: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
(The above story first appeared on Reportr Door on Feb 11, 2021 10:58 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website reportrdoor.com).