Home advantage is a debatable subject in cricketing world. However, teams still use it to their benefit and there is nothing illegal about it. “Home advantage” includes the preparation of Pitches, ground size, out field, local crowd and the venues overall. No wonder Asian teams always struggle in Australia and England due to huge difference in playing conditions. But this is the beauty of cricket that it poses different challenges every time you play and makes the sport of cricket ever so interesting to watch. Team India is playing with England at home and like we all expect the pitches are flat and assist spinners. English players which are more accustomed to play on bouncy fast tracks have to adjust their game for slow, flat, dry and spinning pitches.
Team India lost the first Test against England in Ahmedabad but then the Indian management made the right choice of utilizing the spinning options and the spinning tracks to their benefit.
India Selecting the right Team:
Team India made the right changes in the playing XI after losing poorly in the first test. India brought in their two spinners Axar Patel and the seasoned Kuldeep Yadav. Sighting a spinning pitch India made the right call to play three spinners. Secondly India also brought back Muhammad Siraj in the playing XI who was extremely effective against Australia but did not make it into the playing XI in first test. This made India’s attack a lot more potent and versatile.
First Innings dominating India : IND vs ENG
Rohit Sharma started off the first innings for India with absolutely no form from the recent matches but he is a great player of spin. He took the attack to the English bowlers right from the first ball. He played so freely that one could mistake his innings for a T20 match powerplay, Rohit Sharma scored a wonderful century and then a 150 in the first innings of 2nd Test against England. “The Hitman” Sharma scored his 161 runs with the help of 18 fours and 2 massive sixes. He was certainly unlucky to miss out of yet another double century. Rahane and Rishabh Pant were the only other two batsmen to get going and score a century. India bated well to reach a score in excess of 300 runs. Team India was dismissed for 329 runs on DAY-2 of the second Test.
The England’s batting Collapse.
England cricket team bated superbly in the first test, Joe Root‘s double century was the highlight of the match. But in the second test England faltered poorly and got out miserly for a low total of 134 runs. India’s spin magic was too much to handle for the English batsmen. Joe Root got out for just 6 runs. B Foakes was the only other batsman to make any considerable contribution to the total. He scored 42 runs and stayed not out. English batmen looked helpless in front of Ravichandra Ashwin who took 28th fifer for his team and improved the odds of India winning the 2nd test to the sealing. England was dismissed for just 134 runs in the 2nd innings. Which means that they fell short of 195 runs which is a big lead. Axar Patel who was the replacement of Shahbaz Nadeem took two wickets and Muhammad Siraj who was replacing Jaspreet Bhumrah took one wicket though he was used for just five overs. Spinners dominated the day and India took full advantage of their three spinners and Axar and Ashwin took 7 wickets between them.
The Road to victory for Team India
India started off their 3rd innings with 195 runs lead on the board. Rohit Sharma star of the first innings once again looked firm and confident. Shubman Gill once again lost his wicket early and could add only six runs. India scored 54 runs on DAY02 and the lead is 249. India is in complete control of the test match. With nine wickets in hand and a three complete days in the Test match It should not be a problem for India to win this test earlier. England would really have to bring something extraordinary and special to be competitive in this test. For now India is the supreme favorite to win the 2nd test and level the series.
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