Axar Patel makes his Test debut and Kuldeep Yadav plays his first Test since January 2019 as India announced their playing XI for the second rubber against England starting Saturday (February 13) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
After the toss proved quite a decisive factor in the first Test at the same venue, Virat Kohli called it right this time around and elected to bat first. The hosts trail 0-1 in the four-Test series after falling to a 227-run loss on Tuesday (February 9).
India have made three changes to their playing XI from the first Test. Axar – who last played for India in a T20I against South Africa in 2018 – makes his debut in the longest format, and Kuldeep Yadav returns to the playing XI after the entire cricketing fraternity broke loose over his omission from the opening fixture. The duo replace Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar respectively. Jasprit Bumrah has also been rested for workload management, and the pacer makes way for Mohammed Siraj.
Joe Root on Friday had revealed four changes to his 12-member for the second Test. Jos Buttler (went home), James Anderson (rest), Dom Bess (poor form) and Jofra Archer (elbow injury) make way for Ben Foakes, Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes respectively. Three of them make the playing XI along with express pacer Olly Stone, while Chris Woakes remains the 12th man.
England need to win at least two of the remaining three Tests to seal a date with New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in June this year. India, on the other hand, need to win the series by a one-Test margin to seal the remaining spot in the inaugural summit clash.
India Test squad for second Test: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur
England Test squad for second Test: Joe Root (c), Zak Crawley, Daniel Lawrence, Dominic Sibley, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Rory Burns, Ben Foakes, Ollie Pope, Jofra Archer, James Anderson, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Olly Stone
Hosts India have won the toss in the second Test and have opted to bat first.
India’s playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj
England’s playing XI: Dominic Sibley, Rory Burns, Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Olly Stone