After a rather sluggish start to their four-match Test series against England, the Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team will look to bounce back to winning ways when they take on Joe Root’s men in the second Test, starting from February 13 at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Both the teams are expected to make a host of changes, especially England, who will be without their star pacer Jofra Archer. The 25-year-old was unable to train this week after reporting pain in his right elbow and had subsequently undergone a painkilling injection. Apart from that, England have opted to rest veteran James Anderson. Furthermore, with Jos Buttler gone, Jonny Bairstow will walk in as a replacement for the rest of the red-ball series.
England will also see spinner Dom Bess making way for veteran all-rounder Moeen Ali for the second Test match.
As far as India are concerned, Axar Patel is expected to make his Test debut after recovering from the knee injury which kept him out of the first Test. His return means India had to leave Shahbaz Nadeem out of the squad for the second Test.
India vs England head-to-head
India vs England head-to-head record outrightly favours the latter, who have won 48 of the 123 meetings in Test cricket. The former, on the other hand, have won 26 while 49 matches have ended in a draw. India, however, have picked the momentum since 2000, winning 12 of the 39 matches till date.
|India vs England head-to-head (Test)
Momentum is certainly on England’s side and a pivotal victory at the Chepauk in the first Test has further upped their credentials. Unlike India’s current form in the longest format - two wins in last five Test matches - England enjoy a superior and comfortable record of three wins in their last five Tests. They are, in fact, coming at the back of five wins in their last five away Tests.
India’s overall record against England might very well be underwhelming - one win in last five Tests - but their home record against the Three Lions is superior at its very best, having won four of their last five home Tests.
Pitch condition and average total
The pitch at Chepauk provided little assistance to bowlers during the first few days of the first Test, but spinners are likely to benefit right from the start in the second Test. That’s because the pitch for the first Test was curated with the red soil and it didn’t break until the final two days. The pitch for the second Test, however, will have a top layer of black cotton soil which will shatter pretty quick.
|Average 1st innings score in last five Tests in at Chepauk|
|South Africa||540||vs India||26-Mar-2008|
Regardless of the condition though, Chepauk has been a batting paradise, and the teams have crossed the 300-run mark in each of the last five first innings.
Batsmen to score 50
Needless to say, Joe Root will be India’s arch-nemesis during the second Test. The England captain, who scored a fantastic double ton in the first match, is highly tipped to score at least a half-century given that he has scored three tons and two half-centuries in his last five away Tests.
|Joe Root (away) vs Virat Kohli (home) in last 5 Tests|
|Joe Root (away)||5||9||828||228||92||3||2||5|
|Virat Kohli (home)||5||6||485||254*||97||2||1||3|
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli’s home form also suggests that the Indian captain is well and truly be in line to score a half-century. The 32-year-old has notched two tons and one half-century in his last five home Test outings.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @BCCI