Fantasy suggestions for the second Test in Chennai
Feb 13: India vs England, 2nd Test, Chennai
Pro Tip: Joe Root and Virat Kohli were the best batsmen in the first and second innings respectively of the series opener, played at this very venue. So, give them a high priority for this game too.
Our XI: Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Chesteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Ollie Pope, Ben Stokes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Dom Bess, Jack Leach
Substitutes: Rohit Sharma, Washington Sundar, Dom Sibley, Stuart Broad
Player availability: Axar Patel is likely to replace Shahbaz Nadeem. Jos Buttler is unavailable for the rest of the series and Ben Foakes should replace him. Stuart Broad may come in place of James Anderson.
We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: Joe Root
The England captain’s first-innings scores of 228, 186, and 218 in his last three Tests make him a certain captaincy choice. His average of 60.44 against spin in Asia shows he is an extremely good player of spin.
Vice-captain: Virat Kohli
In his last two outings, he recorded 74 against Australia and 72 against England. A century, however, has eluded him since the start of 2020 and this could be the game he achieves it. He has scored three 200-plus scores in his last ten home Tests.
R Ashwin: India’s highest-ranked Test bowler and the only spinner in the top ten Test bowlers, Ashwin bowled splendidly in the last game, where he picked up nine wickets. At his home ground Chepauk, he has played 15 first-class matches, taking a staggering 90 wickets with nine five-fors.
Ben Stokes: The ICC 2019 Player of the Year and the current top-ranked Test all-rounder Ben Stokes is a must-have in your team. He kickstarted his last India Test tour with a century and had a memorable series where he scored 345 runs and picked up a five-wicket haul. Much like last time around, he started the 2021-22 tour with a brilliant 82 and dismissed Kohli in the second innings.
Rishabh Pant: For a wicketkeeper-batsman, he is the highest-ranked batter in Test cricket at the moment. Even though he missed a game, he is the leading run-scorer for India with 376 runs in four Tests after the resumption of cricket following the Covid-19 pandemic-enforced hiatus.
Jack Leach: His debut game in India started on an underwhelming note after Pant went after him early in the first innings. However, he came back with gusto to end up with six wickets in the game. He might not be as effective in the first innings, but his second-innings figures of 5 for 122, 4 for 59 and 4 for 76 in his last three outings make him a strong contender.
Shubman Gill: Three half-centuries in his first four Tests make 21-year-old Gill a compelling pick. He is yet to go big and this could be the game to show that. He has done that in first-class cricket where he has recorded three 200-plus scores in the last three years (all with strike rates over 70)
Sibley can replace Ollie Pope.
Ashwin and Stokes are the alternate choices for captaincy.