The second Test of the five-match series between India and England will be played at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Vishakhapatnam from February 2nd onwards. England leads the series 1-0 after winning the first encounter in Hyderabad.
It was a poor batting and bowling performance by the Indian team in the second innings as they let England get away despite them trailing by 190 runs in the second do. Chasing a 231-run target, Indian batters completely lost the plot against the England spinners to be bowled out for 202 runs. England won the contest by 28 runs.
The Indian team was also handed a huge blow as Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul have been ruled out of the second Test due to injuries, while Virat Kohli is still unavailable due to personal reasons. This will have the Indian team management making some big changes to the playing XI.
Also with the Visakhapatnam pitch expecting to turn from day one, Rohit and co might be enticed to play four spinners.
With this in consideration, here is the COC Predicted Team India Playing XI for the second Test against England.
Rohit Sharma, the captain will continue to open the innings with Yashasvi Jaiswal. The duo had a good start in the first innings as they added runs quickly. But in the second innings, Jaiswal looked jittery and uncomfortable against spin and gifted his wicket to a nothing shot.
Rohit Sharma showed intent to play sweep and reverse sweep shots to neutralize the spin and hope that other Indian batters follow suit.
Shubman Gill will beunder pressure to score runs and prove himself worthy of the No. 3 spot. Apart from Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer will also be under pressure, given his stature as a good player of spin.
His dismissal in the second innings in Hyderabad contradicted that claim and with the Visakhapatnam track expected to turn, all eyes will be on Iyer and his ability to play spin well.
Either Rajat Patidar or Sarfaraz Khan will make his Test debut in this encounter and it remains to be seen which batter India prefers. Patidar scored two centuries against the England Lions recently, while Sarfaraz also scored a century against the same team.
Washington Sundar is expected to replace Ravindra Jadeja as a like-to-like replacement in the playing XI. He will bring a left-handed batting option in the lineup and an off-spinner capable of keeping the runs down.
KS Bharat kept well in Hyderabad and batted with guts in the second innings. He will be playing his first Test at his home venue in Visakhapatnam, a venue he knows well.
Akshar Patel will shoulder the responsibility of bowling long spells in the absence of Jadeja. R Ashwin will look to find ways to counter the England batters using sweep and reverse sweep against his spin.
Ollie Pope attacked Ashwin successfully in the second innings, but trust the wily off-spinner to invent a way to neutralize that.
Jasprit Bumrah is expected to play as well, but it might be a toss-up in playing another seamer in Mohammed Siraj or a fourth spinner in Kuldeep Yadav. England batters targetted Indian spinners well, but have not played Kuldeep that much. Also, Siraj bowled only 11 overs in the Hyderabad Test and went wicketless.
India will look for a win in this Test match to keep the series interesting as a loss here can dent their chances of keeping their pristine home record spotless.
COC predicted Team India playing XI for the second Test:
Rohit Sharma (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rajat Patidar, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, KS Bharat (WK), Akshar Patel, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah