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India eye better show on rank turner

By The Assam Tribune

VISAKHAPATNAM, Nov 16: Under fire after a below-par show on a good batting strip, the Indian spinners will aim for an improved show on a comparatively more helpful track as they take on a gritty England in the second cricket Test, starting here tomorrow.

The pitch at the ACA-VDCA ground is expected to be a rank turner that will test the visiting side�s batting unit big time after skipper Virat Kohli expressed his displeasure about the Rajkot strip where Indian spinners got a total nine wickets with four English batsmen scoring hundreds.

Questions are being raised about Ravichandran Ashwin�s ability to get wickets on a good track after finishing with underwhelming match figures of 3/230. Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir�s Test career seems to be all but over after skipper Virat Kohli made it clear that KL Rahul is team�s first choice opener and comes back into the side.

�We had it pretty clear in our heads that KL is our number one choice along with M Vijay. He is fit at any stage, he comes back into the team and we are going to start with him. Be it pulling him out of a first-class game in between. It�s within the rules and the regulations,� Kohli told a news conference on the eve of the second Test.

As the battle is expected to boil down to the spinners, it will be interesting whether Virat Kohli wants an extra batsman or an all-rounder in the playing XI. Fielding is another area where the Indians would like to improve after their dropped catches. Spin has been the way forward for India but the mantra did not exactly work out for MS Dhoni and Co more than four years ago when England snatched a 2-1 series win after losing the first Test in Ahmedabad. It was widely attributed that India will come out all guns blazing against the embattled England especially after their embarrassing first-ever defeat in Bangladesh about two weeks ago. Despite the drawn result, four of England�s batsmen got centuries and spinners had a larger share of 13 wickets. Alastair Cook and Co have shown that they will not be pushovers unlike New Zealand, who were whitewashed 3-0 in the last series.

It�s clear from the visitors� improved show that a tricky road lies ahead for India. The famed Indian spinners did not dominate in Rajkot where the battle was won by the England troika of Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari and leg-spinner Adil Rashid who returned with a match-haul of seven wickets. Head coach Anil Kumble, however, defended their spinners who did not get much turn in Rajkot to return with nine wickets.

�Just because they got more wickets than our spinners doesn�t mean we will be at a loss but that�s what I am saying that we batted 160 overs. We will make our strategy based on the pitch we get, we will select the team accordingly. We play to take 20 wickets and win matches. Whatever wicket we get, we will play on that,� Kumble said. Action shifting to Visakhapatnam, Ravichandran Ashwin will be in focus. Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra will also like to up the ante. The leg-spinner Mishra in particular will be looking forward to return to the venue where he had shot New Zealand out for 79 in 23.1 overs with his devastating 5/18 in an ODI two weeks back. � PTI

Teams (from)

India: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravndra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav.

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

Match starts: 09:30 am IST

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India eye better show on rank turner

VISAKHAPATNAM, Nov 16: Under fire after a below-par show on a good batting strip, the Indian spinners will aim for an improved show on a comparatively more helpful track as they take on a gritty England in the second cricket Test, starting here tomorrow.

The pitch at the ACA-VDCA ground is expected to be a rank turner that will test the visiting side�s batting unit big time after skipper Virat Kohli expressed his displeasure about the Rajkot strip where Indian spinners got a total nine wickets with four English batsmen scoring hundreds.

Questions are being raised about Ravichandran Ashwin�s ability to get wickets on a good track after finishing with underwhelming match figures of 3/230. Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir�s Test career seems to be all but over after skipper Virat Kohli made it clear that KL Rahul is team�s first choice opener and comes back into the side.

�We had it pretty clear in our heads that KL is our number one choice along with M Vijay. He is fit at any stage, he comes back into the team and we are going to start with him. Be it pulling him out of a first-class game in between. It�s within the rules and the regulations,� Kohli told a news conference on the eve of the second Test.

As the battle is expected to boil down to the spinners, it will be interesting whether Virat Kohli wants an extra batsman or an all-rounder in the playing XI. Fielding is another area where the Indians would like to improve after their dropped catches. Spin has been the way forward for India but the mantra did not exactly work out for MS Dhoni and Co more than four years ago when England snatched a 2-1 series win after losing the first Test in Ahmedabad. It was widely attributed that India will come out all guns blazing against the embattled England especially after their embarrassing first-ever defeat in Bangladesh about two weeks ago. Despite the drawn result, four of England�s batsmen got centuries and spinners had a larger share of 13 wickets. Alastair Cook and Co have shown that they will not be pushovers unlike New Zealand, who were whitewashed 3-0 in the last series.

It�s clear from the visitors� improved show that a tricky road lies ahead for India. The famed Indian spinners did not dominate in Rajkot where the battle was won by the England troika of Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari and leg-spinner Adil Rashid who returned with a match-haul of seven wickets. Head coach Anil Kumble, however, defended their spinners who did not get much turn in Rajkot to return with nine wickets.

�Just because they got more wickets than our spinners doesn�t mean we will be at a loss but that�s what I am saying that we batted 160 overs. We will make our strategy based on the pitch we get, we will select the team accordingly. We play to take 20 wickets and win matches. Whatever wicket we get, we will play on that,� Kumble said. Action shifting to Visakhapatnam, Ravichandran Ashwin will be in focus. Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra will also like to up the ante. The leg-spinner Mishra in particular will be looking forward to return to the venue where he had shot New Zealand out for 79 in 23.1 overs with his devastating 5/18 in an ODI two weeks back. � PTI

Teams (from)

India: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravndra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav.

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

Match starts: 09:30 am IST