After a 28-run loss in Hyderabad, Rohit Sharma’s Team India bounced back in Visakhapatnam with a 106-run victory to level the series at 1-1 with three more Tests to go.
Yashasvi Jaiswal with his first innings double century, Shubman Gill with his second innings century and Jasprit Bumrah with his 9-wicket match haul were the stars of the show in Vizag for the hosts. However, there are some conspicuous concerns for India heading into Rajkot for the third Test, more on it below.
The Vizag Test, where India missed a spate of experienced players in Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammed Shami, provided some crucial learning for Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid, which the management and selectors need to pay heed to.
3 lessons learned for Team India from the second Test match against England in Vizag:
Other batters need to pull up their socks: avoid soft dismissals and convert their starts
Jaiswal and Gill were the only two batters in the match to reach three figures; England’s Zak Crawley reached half-centuries in both innings but got out in the 70s.
What has been learned in both matches so far is that the batter who gets a start need to carry on to make a big score. India could have easily lost the game if not for the two young batters stepping up under pressure – with Gill, who got three lucky chances at the start of his innings, virtually fighting for his place in the XI.
In India’s first innings, apart from Jaiswal, as many as five batters reached 20 but none of them could get a fifty. To make it worse they got out to soft dismissals, giving some catching practice to the England fielders.
There is no need of a second pacer
For the second game in a row, it has been felt that it is England who got their combination better than India. England played just one pacer in both Tests while India played two – Siraj in first Test and Mukesh in the second partnered Bumrah. Siraj bowled only 11 overs in Hyderabad and Mukesh bowled only 12 overs in Vizag in which he conceded 70 runs, taking the wicket of tailender Shoaib Bashir.
India would be better served playing either all-rounder Washington Sundar or batsman Sarfaraz Khan in place of the second seamer.
It’s time up for Shreyas Iyer
Time is up for Shreyas Iyer in the Indian Test team for now. He has scored 104 runs in 4 innings in this series, but the issue has been him looking lacking confidence against both pacers and spinners. He was like a cat on a hot tin roof against Wood and Anderson, while failing to take down the spinners.
For someone who is reputed to be a “spin basher,” Iyer has failed too much against spinners. In the past year, Iyer has been dismissed by spinners 7 times in 8 outings and averages only 19 against spinners – which is supposed to be his strength – with a heavy dot percentage of close to 70. Since the start of 2023, Iyer averages merely 17 in 7 Tests These reasons are enough to drop Iyer when Kohli and/or KL Rahul are available or to retain Rajat Patidar after his debu Test.