India vs England, 2nd Test: Hosts spin attack under pressure to deliver against confident visitors

India's much-hyped spin attack are under pressure to deliver in the second Test at Visakhapatnam starting Thursday against an England side high on confidence and boasting new teenage sensation Haseeb Hameed.

AFP, Nov, 16 2016

India's much-hyped spin attack are under pressure to deliver in the second Test at Visakhapatnam starting Thursday against an England side high on confidence and boasting new teenage sensation Haseeb Hameed.

Nineteen-year-old Hameed, dubbed "Baby Boycott" for his unflappable style akin to batting great Geoffrey Boycott, scored 31 and 82 on debut during last week's drawn first Test, the latter the highest by a teenager for England.

England captain Alastair Cook. AFP

England captain Alastair Cook. AFP

He shared a 180-run second innings opening stand -- a record for England in India -- with captain Alastair Cook, who made 130, as the homes side's spinners endured a torrid start to the five-Test series.

India's spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, the world's top-ranked bowler, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra had been expected to rip through England's batting line-up but wilted in the Rajkot heat.

The tourists sparkled with four centuries -- from Cook, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes -- as the hosts clung on for a tense draw, losing six wickets on the final afternoon after being set a notional 310 to win.

There had been questions marks over the quality of England's slow bowlers before the game but they outperformed their Indian counterparts with leg-spinner Adil Rashid taking seven wickets.

"Our batters played well against their spinners, and our spinners and seamers all bowled well. The way the guys played in this Test should give us plenty of confidence," said England coach Trevor Bayliss after the first match finished on Sunday.

England's strong showing against the top-ranked Indians banished memories of last month's defeat to minnows Bangladesh when they were undone by rookie spinner Mehedi Hasan.

Ashwin recorded just 2-167 in the first innings and 1-63 in the second. Mishra finished on 1-98 and 2-60 while Jadeja's solid 3-86 was followed by 0-47 in the second innings.

Rahul returns

However, the pitch at the Visakhapatnam ground in Andhra Pradesh state is expected to be more favourable to India's spinners than Rajkot's flat and grassy track.

"We're under no illusions that these next four Tests could be even tougher," said Bayliss.

England could include leading wicket-taker James Anderson, who has recovered from a shoulder injury, while India are also set to make changes.

Opener Lokesh Rahul was added to the squad on Tuesday after proving his recovery from a hamstring injury sustained batting against New Zealand last month by scoring a century in a domestic fixture on Monday.

He looks certain to return at the top of the order to replace Gautam Gambhir who struggled in Rajkot with scores of 29 and 0.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya could make his debut and add pace to India's attack.

"We can still play an extra bowling option and keep putting pressure on the opposition," said captain Virat Kohli.

India (from): Virat Kohli (capt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Gautam Gambhir, Ravindra Jadeja, Ramit Mishra, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Lokesh Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Murali Vijay

England (from): Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Haseeb Hameed, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

Published Date: Nov 17, 2016 | Updated Date: Nov 16, 2016



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4497 105
4 New Zealand 3114 97
5 Australia 3294 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 5266 117
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115