India vs England 2nd Test: Preview and Prediction
England proved that they are no pushovers as the visitors defeated India by 28 runs despite being on the brink of defeat at the end of Day 2 as Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley delivered coming-of-age performances in Hyderabad.
On Friday, the roof will be raised at the Dr Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy ADA-VDCA International Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam as the second fixture of the five-match test series will kick off on Friday with Rohit Sharma hoping for a result in his favor after failing to win the last three home Test matches.
Ben Stokes led England brilliantly displaying the prowess of ‘Bazball’ cricket was tested to its maximum with Pope’s reverse sweeps helping his side edge the contest to their benefit while Brendon Mccullum’s men also showed they know how to use the momentum in their favor despite having many players in the squad who are not used to playing in spinning conditions.
Recently, the Indian team encountered multiple setbacks ahead of the second match as star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and middle-order batter KL Rahul were deemed unavailable for the Visakhapatnam Test alongside former skipper Virat Kohli who is expected to return in the third match of the series.
The uncapped duo of Sarfaraz Khan and Saurabh Kumar have been called up alongside Washington Sundar who was part of the historic win at the Gabba that helped India seal the 2021-22 Border Gavaskar Trophy win.
The Three Lions wouldn’t want to make too many changes in a winning combination as the batting order finally looks settled while Jack Leach’s injury could pave the way for James Anderson or Sohail Bashir depending on the pitch conditions while the ineffective Rehan Ahmed might get a second chance as the most experienced spinner in the visitors’ squad.
What have they done so far?
India has fallen down to the fifth position in the 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship standings after losing the first test of the series.
Rohit’s men started the ongoing WTC campaign with a 1-0 series win against West Indies followed by a 1-1 draw against South Africa where Virat Kohli and KL Rahul shone with the bat as other Indian batters failed to put on big scores in the rainbow nation.
On the other hand, England was trailing Australia 2-0 in the 2023 Ashes but mounted a comeback for the ages as Stokes’ men bounced back to draw the series 2-2 followed by a third consecutive win derailing India after conceding a trail of more than 100 runs in the first innings, becoming the first team in Test history to achieve the feat.
Mccullum would be hoping for more positive results as his side is placed eighth in the WTC standings due to points being docked for poor over rate in the 2023 Ashes.
Head to Head Record
Since their Test rivalry began in 1932, India and England have battled each other in 132 matches. Currently, England leads with 51 victories while India has claimed 31 wins with 50 matches ending in draws in red-ball cricket between the two nations.
Axar Patel (India): In the absence of star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel could be India’s go-to pick for the No.6 slot apart from being the only left-arm bowler in the playing XI if Washington Sundar is picked ahead of Kuldeep Yadav for the second test.
Coming to bat at No.9 in the first innings, Axar scored 44 runs off 100 balls stitching a crucial partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin and then contributed 17 runs in the second innings after being promoted to bat at No.5.
In a total of 29 overs bowled by the southpaw, Patel picked three wickets and could be seen playing the role of the second lead spinner alongside Ashwin who is closing in on the 500-wicket mark as the Tamil Nadu-based spinner needs only four more wickets to reach the historic milestone in Visakhapatnam.
Joe Root (England): Former England skipper Joe Root’s average of above 50 on Indian pitches took a hit in the first test as the batter failed to put a huge dent in the scoreboard putting on 31 runs across the two innings.
With the ball in hand, the 33-year old wrecked havoc and also controlled the flow of runs taking five wickets while giving away only 120 runs in a total of 48 overs spread across the two innings
The middle-order batter has more Test runs than the whole Indian squad put together for the second test and Root would certainly be keen on deploying that experience in the upcoming fixtures.
Predicted Playing XIs
India: Rohit Sharma ©, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rajat Patidar, Shreyas Iyer, Sarfaraz Khan, Axar Patel, KS Bharat (wk), Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes ©, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson
England is in the driver’s seat but Rohit and Ashwin have a good record in Test cricket on the pitches of the ADA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam as the experienced duo would be hoping to lead Rahul Dravid’s men to a victory without many of their regulars ruled out of the match.