In a thrilling encounter, England, led by Ben Stokes, secured a commanding 28-run victory over India in the first Test in Hyderabad. The unexpected assistance for English spinner Tom Hartley, who claimed a seven-wicket haul, led to India’s downfall in the second innings, finishing at 202 runs. Now, as the teams head to the second Test in Visakhapatnam, England aims to maintain their winning momentum, while India seeks to make a comeback and level the series.
While the pitch in Hyderabad favoured the batsmen for the initial three days, the spinners received less assistance than anticipated. India and England are expected to field four spinners in the second Test, hoping for a surface with more turn. England captain Ben Stokes, addressing the pitch conditions in Vizag, anticipates that it might be favourable for batting in the first two days but could progressively offer more turn as the Test progresses.
ALSO READ: KS Bharat Confident And Prepared As India Adapts Strategies For Second Test Against England
Ben Stokes noted, “It might be a good wicket for maybe a day or two. But out here in India and other parts of the sub-continent, you tend to see it start to spin more and more as the Test goes deeper and deeper.”
Observing the pitch during the press interaction, Stokes mentioned the presence of moisture and emphasized the potential influence of footholes as the Test unfolds. Despite a seemingly improved initial playing condition compared to the previous week, Stokes emphasized the team’s preference for flexibility rather than rigid strategies.
— Free Press Journal (@fpjindia) February 1, 2024
“Even though it does look like there’s a little bit more moisture in there with the heat – and today is very hot again – any footholes and stuff like that might come into play the further the Test goes. It might play a little bit better initially than it did last week, but we don’t like to go in with too many pre-conceived ideas,” said Ben Stokes
England faces the absence of left-arm spinner Jack Leach due to a knee injury, with Shoaib Bashir replacing him. Conversely, India contends with the absence of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja. Skipper Rohit Sharma and lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah are under pressure, and the team may introduce Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar to bolster the batting lineup. Both batsmen have exhibited impressive performances in domestic cricket and the unofficial Test match against England Lions.