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India vs England: Ideal Playing 11 for Team India for 2nd Test

India vs England 2021: Two major changes expected as we look at the ideal playing 11 for the 2nd Test.

After a series-winning performance at Gabba, that was completely unimaginable, Team India’s performance has taken a nosedive during the first Test match vs England. It’s a herculean task of any overseas team to defeat India at home, but England’s self-belief combined with India’s below-par outing meant India lost the first Test match by a mammoth 227 runs. 

So, what went wrong for Team India in the first Test match? Was it the pitch, Team selection, poor execution, or Captaincy? Well, there’s no clear answer to it, but one of the main reasons is Team India’s bowling attack, which looked toothless in the first innings and Axar Patel’s absence left a big void in the bowling department. 

The batting performance was also not up to the mark from a few senior pros. For example, Rohit Sharma has a bradmanesque average at home in Tests, but he had two mediocre outings in the first Test. Similarly, Ajinkya Rahane, who inspired Team India to a series win recently looked out of the sorts in both the innings.  

Looking at the team as a whole, should Team India make any changes to the playing 11? Well, technically they should make a couple of changes in the bowling department. So, what are those? Let’s find out in our article highlighting the ideal playing 11 for Team India for the 2nd Test match vs England. 

Team India’s Squad for first two Tests vs England:

Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Axar Patel, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant (WK), Rohit Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shardul Thakur, Shubman Gill, Washington Sundar & Wriddhiman Saha (WK).

Ideal Playing 11 – Team India

Openers: Rohit Sharma & Shubman Gill

The senior pro, Rohit Sharma may have had a poor outing in both the innings of the first Test match, he is still the first-choice opener for Team India – more so in Home conditions. So, he should continue to open with Shubman Gill, who was sublime with his temperament and strokeplay in the first Test match. 

Middle-order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C) & Ajinkya Rahane

Team India’s vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane disappointed with his performance in both the innings of the first Test match. While he got an absolute peach of a delivery in the second innings, the first innings shot selection was not good. Additionally, Rahane’s performance at home has been mediocre, to say the least. Only a couple of times in last 15 odd Tests, he had had an impactful knock in home conditions. 

The exact reason for his below-par performance is not known, but it is more to do with the mindset. He needs to be in a clear frame of mind to be successful in home conditions. While Rahane might not lose his Test spot, he would have to up his game to make sure he doesn’t lose Team India’s trust in him. Other than him, Pujara and Kohli should also make sure they convert their fifties into big knocks. 

Wicket-keeper: Rishabh Pant 

Rishabh Pant, the batsman was the star batsman for Team India in the first Test match. His aggressive 91(88) in the first innings, and a solid partnership with rock-solid, Cheteshwar Pujara partially turned the equation of the match in Team India’s favour.

However, Rishabh Pant’s keeping against quality spinners is still hit-and-miss. He might continue to play in the 2nd Test match, but would need to do better in the keeping department to help India be more competitive in the field. 

Spinners: Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin & Kuldeep Yadav 

Axar Patel was a big miss for Team India in the first Test match. If not for his injury, he was certain to make in the final playing 11. His replacement, Shahbaz Nadeem was ineffective with the ball, and was unable to create pressure on the England batsmen in both the innings. Nadeem would definitely be dropped, and if not Axar, Kuldeep Yadav might replace him. 

Kuldeep, on the other hand, was unlucky to have missed out in the final 11. He is the second-best in the squad, but Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem were preferred above him for two main reasons. One, Washington Sundar played as an all-rounder, and second Nadeem played of him being the only bowler to take the ball away from right-handers. 

However, India’s bowling issues were clearly exposed in the first Test match. So, even though, Sundar was excellent with the bat in the first innings, he will have to make way from Kuldeep to strengthen India’s bowling attack. Moreover, Kuldeep’s variety can ask a lot of questions to England batsmen. Ashwin, meanwhile, should continue with the form he is in. 

Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma 

Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma did more than good job in the 1st Test match being the only two pacers. Hence, they should continue to lead the pace attack of Team India. That means Siraj will have to wait until the pink ball Test to make an appearance in the playing 11. 

So, that completes the ideal playing XI for Team India for the 2nd Test match vs England. While Axar may or may not play, Kuldeep would definitely make it in the final 11 in place of Nadeem. 

India vs England 2021: Ideal Playing 11 for Team India for 2nd Test Match:

Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin,  Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma & Jasprit Bumrah.

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