The hosts India are getting ready for the second Test of the four-match Test series against the visitors England. Once again, MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chepauk, Chennai) will host this Test match from Saturday (13th February) morning.
Currently, the hosts are trailing this Test series by the 1-0 margin as they suffered a 227-run defeat in the opening game of this Test series. To qualify for the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, the hosts can’t afford another defeat while they must have to win at least two Tests in this series.
India vs England 2021, 2nd Test: India’s Predicted XI
In the last Australia tour, during the Test series, Rohit Sharma got some good starts but he failed to manage the big scores which have raised his pressure now. He scored 6 and 12 runs in the opening game of this Test series. As Mayank Agarwal is in the fight for the Test opening spot, Rohit Sharma is now facing big challenge for the Test opening spot.
The youngster Shubman Gill has already impressed as a Test opener. Out of his 8 Test innings, while the right-handed opening batsman hit three half-centuries, including his best score of 91, he has the batting average of 48.28. The 21-year-old has the good understanding of the game.
Though Cheteshwar Pujara hasn’t scored a Test century after January 2019, he is still playing very important role for the Indian national cricket team as he is setting up the strong base for the team. His defensive batting approach is working really well for the Indian team as he is putting extra pressure on the opponents. Though he is searching for Test century for a long time, he scored four half-centuries in last six Test innings.
Virat Kohli (C)
Captain Virat Kohli scored his last international century in November 2019. Though since then the Indian captain has played some good knocks, he always missed out to reach the three-figure score. In the last Test innings, when his team was struggling, Kohli scored 72 runs. But his fans are desperate to see his century as soon as possible.
Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane played very important role during the Test series victory in the recent Australia tour, where he led the visiting team in the last three Tests in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli. But he has struggled to manage good scores in the last six Test innings. While he is an important name in this batting line-up, Rahane needs to perform better.
Rishabh Pant (wk)
With the time progress, the young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is again getting popular with his own aggressive batting style. He is really confident to continue this batting style. In the last three Tests, he played very important roles in the Indian batting line-up. However, he still needs to make improvement in his shot selection as well as his wicket-keeping skills.
The all-rounder Axar Patel is likely to make his Test debut on Saturday. He missed out the first Test due to left-knee injury. Apart from his useful left-spin bowling, Axar Patel is very handy as a left-handed batsman, especially in the longer format where he has the batting average of 35.42, including one century and 13 half-centuries.
The off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is currently in very good form with the ball in hand. In the last Test at his home venue, Ashwin took nine wickets, including one six-wicket haul. Moreover, he is also providing a good support with the bat in the lower-order.
The all-rounder Washington Sundar has already impressed in his early Test career with his lower-middle-order batting performances. Out of his four Test innings, the left-handed batsman has already scored two crucial half-centuries, and mostly put crucial impact in the batting line-up. The young off-spinner has also got four wickets in Test career.
In the first Test of this series, the tall right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma made his Test comeback and bowled very well despite mostly had the hard luck in that Test match. The tall pacer is ready put another good impact for the Indian team in the upcoming Test match.
This Test-series opener was the first Test match in India for the right-arm fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah who got a total of four wickets (3/84 & 1/26) in that Test match. He is currently in good form with the ball in hand.