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England May Surprise India With Rare Combo on Vizag’s Spin-Friendly itch

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India’s Setback in the First Test

India’s think-tank was forced to look back after the home team was far more dominating than the other for the most of the first Test of the five-match series in Hyderabad last week, when England gave India a difficult defeat. Unfazed, England coach Brendon McCullum said that his team won’t back down from the challenge, even if it means playing every spinner in the squad, with rank turners potentially appearing in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

Rahul and Jadeja

India’s Spin Reinforcements

As the hosts want to quickly turn things around, the surprising loss of India in the first Test has since generated rumours regarding the kind of surface that would be used for the next game in Visakhapatnam. Both India and England will thus think about bolstering their spin options in reaction to growing fears that the Visakhapatnam pitch may provide spinners with even more help than the Hyderabad one did.

READ MORE : India vs England 2nd Test

Three players, including two spinners, have been added to India’s roster, suggesting a change in approach towards spin domination. The injured Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul were covered by the hosts with Sarfaraz Khan, left-arm orthodox Sourabh Kumar, and right-arm offie Washington Sundar.

England’s All-Spin Plan

Brendon McCullum

England’s coach, Brendon McCullum, has alluded to using an all-spin strategy in the interim. McCullum told SENZ Radio in New Zealand that “he [Shoaib Bashir] comes into the calculations.”

We won’t be scared to use a combination of our available bowling options, including all spinners, if the wickets continue to spin as much as they did in the first Test.

“We’ll examine the circumstances and give you a call. It’s difficult to interpret some of the wickets here, so you won’t get every call correct. But we’ll decide on something and do our hardest to stick with it. We’ll then observe our destination.

After a delayed arrival for his visa, Bashir arrived in India during the weekend before.

England’s Spin Mastery

Though historically, India would have benefited from a pitch that favoured spin, things could be different this time. The way that England has handled spin since 2021—which has been more daring recently—has changed the game and made it necessary to reevaluate the status quo.

The inaugural Test match in Hyderabad saw the visitors display a willingness to attack spinners, especially in the second innings when Ollie Pope made notable strides in navigating spin-friendly conditions. A total of 62 runs were contributed to the scoreboard by the English tailenders, Rehan Ahmed and rookie Tom Hartley.

The way that England is now playing against spin and thinking about it shows that the pitch conditions alone may not be the main factor favouring India in the next match in Visakhapatnam.

“I believe the manner in which some of the boys have executed their sweep shots can undoubtedly counteract the excessive spin,” Foakes said, as cited by FOXCricket.

Many of the boys, in my opinion, have a strategy that will work on those pitches because Popey, of course, gave a bit of a masterclass on how to do it.

READ MORE : India vs England 2nd Test