The pressure is on the hosts as India and England prepare for the second Test match of the series. The locals had high hopes of getting off to a strong start and putting their star-studded opponents to the sword in the early exchanges of February but suffered a convincing 227 runs defeat.
The opening Test match was a five-day slog with little for followers of Team India to get excited about, but they’ll want to see a response from the national team at the first time of asking. Better is needed in the second Test match. Will they get the improvement necessary to level the series?
Bettors trawling the online sports betting reviews find India as second-favourites to win the series. Odds-makers are hot on the chances of them firing back to win the second Test and move to a 1-1 score. That’s expected to catch the attention of value hunters and those on the lookout for a bet at attractive odds.
Tourists got off to a fast start
The first Test match was played at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and things went England’s way from very early on. The tourists won the coin toss and decided to open with the bat. That proved to be a shrewd call as they got off to a thunderous start, immediately placing their rivals on the backfoot and ramping up the pressure.
England raced into a commanding lead on the first day and didn’t ever look like letting a visibly rattled India back into the contest. The final scoreboard read England 578 all out and 178 all out, the damage done at the first time of asking.
India failed to keep things competitive, slipping to a disappointing 337 all-out followed by a damaging 192 all out. The test lasted five days but there were no chances of late drama as a ruthless and unforgiving England marched into a series lead.
Hosts must find their fighting spirit
Battered and bruised India were sent back to the drawing board, but they must pick apart that opening Test match defeat, pinpoint what went wrong for them and work to get it right in the second Test match.
It’s not a case of trying to get back to their best, India are already under so much pressure at home they simply must respond. It’s certainly not beyond the hosts and neutrals hoping for a lively series will want to see India go level and build confidence.
To have any chance of firing back they will need all their players to be at their best, performing in every department of the game. There is no doubt India has a supremely talented list of individual cricket players but they must learn to pull together as one.
They will also have to show something that was beyond them in the first Test match and that was a fighting spirit. A willingness to roll up their sleeves and battle England. The visitors have already shown just how aggressive they can be when ahead in a match.
Batting first is the main aim for India
The aim of the India team on day one of the second Test match will be to bat first. If England wins the toss and gets to bat first again this match could follow a similar path to the first Test.
This game really could be decided on the flip of a coin. Judging on last week, Rishabh Pant must improve when behind the stumps and Washington Sundar will need his bowling A-game.
The second Test match is scheduled for Saturday 13 February with another five days available if required. The teams remain at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium before moving to Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad for the third Test match.
Everyone connected to the home team will be desperate to ensure the series win remains possible heading into leg three. For that to be the case they will need to hit the ground running and prove they are capable of matching an English side full of confidence and showing no signs of letting up.
Following the Test match series the teams will progress to Twenty20 cricket in March.