India vs England 2nd Test: Virat Kohli’s India seek redemption on rank turner. The frustrated India have decided to go to the jugular by choosing a bitter Turner to play a well-prepared England team in the second Test starting on Saturday, knowing full well that they could thunder and lose their place in the World Test Championship final.
The Australian series’s honeymoon ended after a shocking 227-run defeat in the first Test that should have shaken the humble team out of its favor before the top three Test matches.
But it’s the right class for Indian mercurial swimmer Virat Kohli, who likes to bring his game to A when the chips are down.
With the crowd back inside the hot colony ready to place him, something he enjoys, the Indian captain will be looking for a good slugfest against the opposing team. India need to win two games and not lose games to make it to the WTC finals.
England will have a new wicketkeeper for Ben Foakes and Stuart Broad will replace James Anderson as part of the job management. In this mix Moen Ali, India’s most famous meses, replaces the first innings of wicket-taker Dom Bess.
Jofra Archer’s elbow injury could make way for Chris Woakes, an easy-to-hit batsman without being a good fit alone.
“Jofra is coming back a little bit but I hope he is healthy and ready for the third Test,” said team captain and No. 1 striker Joe Root last night.
Looking at the newly established black track in Chepauk is an indication that unlike the line used during the first Test, this one will provide the expected turnaround time.
Ravichandran Ashwin will need a lot of support from the other side depending on the prevention and attack options.
Axar Patel who is in a position to be the closest to being a player like the injured Ravindra Jadeja. The start of the Patel Test looks imminent as Ashwin will need someone to hold on to the other side.
However, one cannot be too sure about Kuldeep Yadav, who during his six-year Test career played tough games.
He would have liked his chance to be a better attacker than Washington Sundar, but where the answer is where hitting is important, the round Hardik Pandya could get into the fight.
The 20-year-old Washington could continue to be a good start to the Ravi Shastri mold in the years to come but at the moment, they are not ready to play as a third spin specialist.
Kuldeep is a very good attacker but the continued reluctance of the club management to play him is an indication of a lack of faith in the power of the Uttar Pradesh wrist spinner.
Hardik, on the other hand, could easily get those quick runs against the spinners and bowl 8-10 overs which is the maximum amount required for the fifth bowlers on a friendly pitch.
The Indian team managers, after the first two days in Chepauk during the opening match, had two options to go to the second Test.
The first option was to leave the grass free and be tested by Broad, who could get the SG Test to reach the grid and remove the pitch.
The second option, which they have taken to shave the grass and a little watering of the stadium, leaves the bakery in the sun.
The ball will hit and turn and the string will break prematurely but India will have situations where this type of track has slipped.
Take it back to Pune 2017, when Steve Smith punished them at the turner rank on the first day. The home team had no idea that the ball would turn so much.
Or maybe the best innings ever played in India – Kevin Pietersen’s 186 reputation in Mumbai in 2012. India played one pacer for Zaheer Khan with Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha opening the bowling alley.
In both games, it was rival spinners (Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar at 12 and Steve O’Keefe in 2017) who made good use of these conditions and pushed the Indian batsmen into their hole.
The throw will be very important and even if it turns into a square, Kohli will look at the strike first and expect Rohit Sharma to go beyond the two or three shoots he has been holding so far.
He will have to give the team the big team they need the most.
Kohli gave a high point on how to play reverse swing in the first Test but it always takes two tango.
Whether Cheteshwar Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane or Rishabh Pant, the Indian captain will need some support to keep his team’s chances alive by booking a flight to London.