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India vs England Second Test Preview: Hurt hosts could be set for a stirring comeback
- India host England in Chennai for the second Test starting on 13th February
- This Test will mark the return of audience for cricket matches in India post COVID-19 as 50% stadium will be open
- England have won their last 6 Tests in Asia
- India have won 9 of their last 11 home Tests with 7 coming via an innings margin
- Ravichandran Ashwin has taken at least 5-wickets in 7 of his last 12 innings at home
Can the returning audience stir India's comeback? (Getty Images)
A massive 227-run win over India at Chepauk gave England a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. With the second Test set to be played at the same venue, England will feel that their mastery of the conditions – including the Sri Lankan series – will help them continue the winning run.
An aside to this Test will be the World Test Championship race as England have now stormed to the top of that table and India have slipped to fourth.
Virat Kohli coming back to captaincy hasn’t helped India’s fortunes, as they slumped under constant English pressure. The twin failures of Rohit Sharma (6 & 12) and Ajinkya Rahane (1 & 0) has been massive for India. Although losing the toss and bowling first has played a major role, the inability of grabbing advantage at key stages has hurt India.
Bowling wise, Ravichandran Ashwin was once again the star of the show with a second-innings fifer. However, the lack of support from the other end pulled India back.
India are struggling to get Axar Patel fit and back on the park as Ravindra Jadeja continues to be a colossal absence.
England continued from their impressive Sri Lankan tour as captain Joe Root slammed 218 & 40 in his 100th Test. There were definitive performances from everyone also around to make it a magical start to the series.
Dom Bess made it an impressive first innings with four wickets, while Jack Leach was brilliant on final day. The irrepressible James Anderson made the ball talk with a lovely spell on the final day.
Jos Buttler will be rested as Ben Foakes is expected to take his place. There are wide rumours that Anderson could also be rested for Stuart Broad. However, injury to Jofra Archer could mean both Anderson and Broad may play.
India vs England Head-to-Head
England extended their overall H2H lead to 48-26 and 5-1 in the last six matches. They have also managed to reduce India’s lead at home venues to 19-14. In Chennai, the record is 5-4 and England remain the only visiting side to win multiple Tests.
India vs England Match Up
Lack of runs from the Indian top-order puts focus back on the likes of Rohit and Rahane. Virat Kohli’s return to form is crucial, but England look solid with Root scoring runs for fun. English spinners have also got more turn than their Indian counterparts, barring Ashwin.
India vs England Stats
- Ravichandran Ashwin has taken at least five wickets in seven of his last 12 home Test innings.
- India have lost the toss in each of the last nine Tests against England.
- Shubman Gill has scored at least 30 in six of his eight Test innings.
- England have won their last six Tests in Asia.
- The last ten Tests between India and England have seen a winner, with the two teams winning five each.
- Joe Root has 14 scores of 50 and above against India in 30 innings.
India were second best to England in every department and in every session of the first Test. They would need massive improvements to even think of winning this match. England would be confident of another stealing march considering how the morale of the squad is built after the recent successes. It could once again turn out to be a ‘bat first’ pitch as a rank turned is expected. England’s strength with the spin resources and their superior form playing the spinners could be crucial. However, India are know to come back strongly and will be itching to get back here. The hosts remain a strong pick to win and level things, while individual picks on Root, Gill, and Ashwin could be the way to go.