England have a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series after their famous 28-run win in Hyderabad; Brendon McCullum is considering a tour attack for the visitors in the second Test, starting in Vizag on Friday.
18:49, UK, Tuesday 30 January 2024
Head coach Brendon McCullum has suggested that England can “play” and hit the spinners in the second Test against India.
After achieving a memorable victory against a defensive defense in Hyderabad, where lone skipper Mark Wood bowled 25 overs without opening his account in slow motion, nothing seems to go wrong.
Going into the five-day game with just one run option seemed like a bold move a week ago, but with 18 of India’s 20 wickets falling and two more to go, the Kiwis are flirting badly with mavericks. choice.
After watching Lancashire’s Tom Hartley take nine on debut, including a convincing 7-62 on the final day, he is entertaining the idea of throwing someone new into the mix if India provide a spinner’s paradise in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
Shoaib Bashir, 20, only arrived in the country at the weekend, his arrival delayed by visa issues related to his Pakistani heritage, but he is already tipped to form an unprecedented rotation alongside Hartley, Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed and Joe Root.
“They count,” McCullum told the New Zealanders SENZ Radio. “If the wickets continue to rotate like we saw in the first Test, as the match goes on we will not be afraid to play all the spinners, or sort out what we have.”
“We’ll look at the conditions and make a call. You’re not going to make a good call, especially here – it’s hard to read some wickets. But we’ll make a decision and move forward. Try to commit to it. So we’ll see where we go.”
What are England’s other options?
Playing single-run bowling is still a consistent result, with the ability to change the course of the game still an important string to captain Ben Stokes’ bow and world record holder James Anderson eager to enter the series, even for Somerset. off-spinner Bashir received rave reviews at the recent training camp in the UAE.
“Obviously Bash was with us at our camp in Abu Dhabi and was impressed with his skills,” McCullum said. “He’s a good kid, he’s got an infectious personality and it was great to be around him.
“He fits in well in the team and is a young man with a lot of interest, even though he is young and very limited in his early experience.
“Like Tom Hartley, he was a guy we looked at and thought, ‘He’s got the skills to help us in that’.
“When you see the guys who you think are good enough, and who you think fit the situation, they’re the training horses. Sometimes, you have to be a little bit bolder in your decision.”
How will India respond?
England are ready for whatever the Indian bowlers throw at them in the coming weeks, with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes recalling the “terrible wickets” they received on their previous Test tour.
The visitors achieved the same three years ago, 1-0 after winning the opening game, and lost the next three in a tiebreak as the stadiums in Chennai and Ahmedabad provided an extravagant turn.
With India’s spinners running amok, England scored 205 in six innings, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the hosts try to do the same after their shock defeat last time out.
“The last time we were here the three of us were probably the worst pitches I’ve ever hit,” Foakes said. “Remembering that the first Test was played on a flat wicket and then it went to the bunsens [turners].
“Going into this, I was thinking ‘oh, these are bad wickets, I’ve just got to find a way to stay in them’. I don’t know. [if it will be the same again] but it will be interesting to see.”
England Test Series in India 2024
- First Test – England won by 28 runs in Hyderabad
- Second Test – February 2-6 (Vizag)
- Third Test – February 15-19 (Rajkot)
- Fourth Test – February 23-27 (Ranchi)
- Fifth Test – March 7-11 (Dharamshala)
Foakes feels confident that England have now won the test in the round, with the visitors hitting the turning ball very well in Hyderabad in their surprise win.
“I think the way some of the guys have played with their bats can handle a lot of swings,” Foakes said. “Obviously Popey’s been very good at how to do that, so I think a couple of guys have plans to do well in these arenas.
“If that’s the case you have to be positive, give it back to the bowler and force him. It’s a change of mind how you do it because in those situations the bowler is more likely to win the match. That’s how many strikes you can bowl.
“Before there was a lot of fear of coming out and that put us in our shells. Now there’s no fear of coming out.”
Follow live coverage of the second Test between India and England, in Vizag, live on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App from 3.30am on Friday (first ball at 4am).
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