The big news which has come from the Indian camp, ahead of the Visakhapatnam Test, is that Lokesh Rahul has been added to the original 15-man Indian squad.
The Karnataka opener had injured his right hamstring while batting in the second innings of the first Test in Kanpur against New Zealand. Gautam Gambhir replaced him in the Indian squad for the remainder of the three-Test series against the Blackcaps and went on to play the third Test in Indore, in place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan, who suffered a fracture to his left thumb in the second innings of the second Test in Kolkata. Gambhir retained his place in India’s 15-man squad for the first two Tests against England, with S Dhawan and KL Rahul yet to recover from their respective injuries.
Despite the considerably lengthy injury lay-off he had suffered, KL Rahul reminded one and all that the sublime batting form he was in when he suffered the right hamstring injury, had not disappeared: turning out for Karnataka in their Group B meeting with the 2010/11 and 2011/12 Ranji Trophy champions Rajasthan, the 24-year-old right-hander cracked 76 and 106 to prove his fitness and get himself added to the Indian squad in time for the second Test.
With KL Rahul returning to the line-up, Gambhir could well drop out of India’s playing XI for the Visakhapatnam Test, which begins on Thursday. The ACA-VDCA Stadium in Vizag is set to host its first-ever Test match, just as the SCA Stadium in Rajkot did last week, by hosting the first Test between India and England.
From the visitors’ perspective, they are unlikely to make any changes to the XI they fielded in Rajkot. James Anderson is not expected to return to the England line-up for the second Test and Alastair Cook’s men, having played well collectively in the first Test, have no need to make changes.
Although the first Test ended in a draw, the two teams will have sussed each other out and the fact that the ‘underdogs‘ raised their game and looked the better of the two teams for large portions, has made the contest a lot more intriguing. If England continue to play like they did in Rajkot, the pre-series predictions from the likes of Michael Vaughan and Sourav Ganguly will probably look ludicrous!
And, in the video below, Cricfooty’s author has looked at the integral aspects of the second India v England Test, such as the possible changes in personnel for India, the nature of the Vizag pitch and a lot, lot more.
Watch and enjoy!