At least one of Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar is set to make his Test debut in the second Test against England. In fact, such has the situation arisen that there is a chance that both of them could be seen getting their debut Test caps.
India lost the first Test in Hyderabad against Ben Stokes’ team by 28 runs as the visitors made an epic comeback from conceding a 190-run first innings lead to handing India a rare home defeat that has sent shockwaves down the hosts and their fans. Ollie Pope struck a brilliant 196 in England’s second innings, before spinner Tom Hartley, who had a nightmarish first innings, took 7 wickets to bundle India out for 202 in the chase of 230.
After the match, it was confirmed that Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul have been ruled from the second Test match, starting February 2 in Visakhapatnam. The BCCI has added Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar, and Saurabh Kumar to the squad as replacements for the team which had already been depleted by the absence of Mohammed Shami and Virat Kohli.
Since Rajat Patidar had been added to the squad ahead of the first Test, as Kohli’s replacement, he is almost certain to be picked to replace KL Rahul.
WELCOME TO INDIAN TEST TEAM, SARFARAZ KHAN…!!! 🇮🇳
– After all the hard work, Sarfaraz finally gets his maiden call up. pic.twitter.com/MX4W2Foa38
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) January 29, 2024
To replace Ravindra Jadeja, India will have to choose between Kuldeep Yadav, who has 34 wickets in 8 Tests at 21, and Sundar, who has only 6 wickets in 4 Tests at 49 but is a much better batsman than Kuldeep.
Kuldeep is likely to get the nod over Sundar, but then India are also expected to beef up their batting by including either Sarfaraz Khan or Washington Sundar in place of Mohammed Siraj, who bowled only 11 overs in Hyderabad. England picked only one pacer in Mark Wood in the first Test, and India are likely to go that way (with Bumrah as the only pacer) if the pitch is once again heavily favoring the spinners, which is expected.
Will Sarfaraz Khan make his Test debut in 2nd Test vs England?
Picking Sundar would give India a 5th bowling option, but Sarfaraz Khan’s first-class batting record – average of 69 and strike rate of 70 in 45 FC matches – is likely to tilt the scales in his favor.
India’s probable playing XI for 2nd Test vs England:
- Rohit Sharma (C)
- Yashasvi Jaiswal
- Shubman Gill
- Shreyas Iyer
- Axar Patel
- Rajat Patidar
- Sarfaraz Khan/Washington Sundar
- KS Bharat (wk)
- R Ashwin
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Jasprit Bumrah (vc)
India’s squad for second Test against England
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar, Saurabh Kumar.