India vs England 2021, Second Test Preview: India’s Biggest Test at Home in Recent History With a Lot At Stake
India has not found themselves in such a situation many times in the recent past at home in Test cricket. Such has been their domination that they have annihilated visiting teams batting them out of the match and bamboozling their line-ups with high quality spin. For the first time in many years (after Australia 2017) India have been challenged in their home fortress. And it is a good one. This makes for an intriguing series and a true test of India’s ruthlessness and prowess at home. 0-1 down in the four-match series, can the hosts fightback and beat a spirited England team, led by a captain who is in the form of his life and fresh off a 2-0 sweep in Sri Lanka.
It is as high stake a match as India has played at home in recent history. If they lose, a series win is out of bounds and their hopes of making it to Lord’s for the final of the World Test Championship are also gone. It would also mean a five-Tests losing streak for Kohli, the skipper and pressure would mount on him to deliver and questions will be raised about his captaincy in the format.
India would hope that the toss falls in Kohli’s favour on Saturday – that is half the battle won. Rohit Sharma is expected to get a few runs after 4 failures in India opening the innings. Virat Kohli is due a big hundred – he does not have an international hundred since 2020. Ajinkya Rahane needs to score some runs. With the exception of his MCG hundred, his Test numbers are shocking since 2020.
England are on a high. Their rotation policy seems to be working wonders for the visitors – they have now won 6 consecutive matches in Asia. Joe Root has also won 26 Tests as England captain and equaled the record of Michael Vaughan. Another victory in Chennai and Root goes down as the most successful captain in England’s Test cricket history. He does not need more motivation!
Dom Sibley, Joe Root and Ben Stokes would be the three key batsmen for England. Sibley will give England the platform and blunt the Indian attack, Root will be the playmaker in the middle order and Stokes will give the innings the necessary momentum – a script that fell perfectly in place in the opener in Chennai.
With James Anderson rested, Stuart Broad would fill his shoes while Chris Woakes is expected to come in for the injured Jofra Archer.
WHAT: India vs England, 2nd Test
WHEN: February 13-17, 9.30 AM IST
WHERE: MA Chidambaram stadium, Chennai
TELECAST: Star Sports NetworkLIVE
STREAMING: Disney + Hotstar
India Team News
India are likely to make two changes to the XI that played the first Test at the same venue. Axar Patel will replace the not so impressive, Shahbaz Nadeem in a like for like replacement. Axar also offers something with the bat in the lower-order. With the wicket expected to offer fast turn, Axar could do a Jadeja and run through the England batting line-up.
There is also a high chance that Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav will replace Washington Sundar. As impressive Sundar was with the bat he is playing as the bowling all-rounder and fell massively short in his primary discipline – neither picking wickets nor able to restrict the opposition batsmen.
Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
England Team News
England have already announced their 12-man squad for the second Test and in all likelihood fast bowler Olly Stone would sit out of the final XI. The visitors will make as many as 4 changes to the winning combination. Stuart Broad replaces James Anderson as part of England’s rotation policy and Chris Woakes comes in for Jofra Archer who was ruled out of the second Test due to an elbow discomfort.
Dom Bess and Jos Buttler have also been replaced again as part of England’s rotation policy which aims at giving adequate rest and break to their players. Moeen Ali is expected to replace Bess while Ben Foakes will stand behind the stumps for England.
Predicted XI: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root (capt), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad
Head to Head:
Last five Tests
England 4, India 1.
India: Our body language and intensity was not up to the mark. I don’t think we put enough pressure on them with the ball in the first half – Indian captain Virat Kohli after losing the first Test
England: To take 20 wickets in alien conditions is a brilliant job from the bowlers. The first partnership got us going. Different stages guys came in and contributed. That’s got to be the way – if we’re going to win out here someone has to do that – England captain Joe Root after winning the first Test