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Delhi Test: Will Shreyas Replace SKY?

February 15, 2023 17:01 IST
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IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer, who has recovered from a back injury, may return to India's playing XI for the second Test against Australia starting in Delhi on Friday, February 17, 2023. Photograph: BCCI

Fresh from their emphatic victory in the series opener in Nagpur, a confident India will want to emphasise their dominance on another spin-friendly pitch in the second Test against Australia in Delhi, starting on Friday.

On a pitch where India amassed 400 in the first innings, Australia managed just 177 and 99 as they surrendered tamely to the Indian spinners inside three days.

It remains to be seen how Australia bounce back in the second Test at the Arun Jaitley stadium in Delhi, which could serve up another turning track. They will need their batters to forget the horrors of Nagpur and find a way to keep the Indian spinners at bay.

For India, the only worry is K L Rahul's form; the vice-captain perished for 20 in the first Test, as the clamour to include the in-form Shubman Gill in the team keeps getting stronger.

Suryakumar Yadav had a poor Test debut, falling to Nathan Lyon as he attempted an outrageous drive against the spin only to be bowled for 8.

With Shreyas Iyer ruled fit for the match, he could get his place back at No 5. Iyer has made a good start to his Test career, with 624 runs in seven matches at an average of 56, including back to back fifties in the two-Test series in Bangladesh.

India are likely to retain the same bowling attack. Though Axar Patel had a limited role with the ball with just one wicket in Nagpur, he made an impact with a solid 84 at No 9 to give India a decisive first innings lead.

India's batters will be working on their batting against spin, especially after off-spinner Todd Murphy picked up 7/124 on his debut. If not for half-centuries from Ravindra Jadeja and Axar, Australia could have restricted India to a much lower total and got themselves back in the contest.

While their spinners have made most of the turning tracks, India's batters have also struggled to score runs on such wickets.

Rohit Sharma was the only batter among the top five to get past 20 as he scored a magnificent 120, but Rahul, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara fell cheaply to Murphy.

My Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, K S Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami.

Who do you think should be part of India's playing XI in the second Test against Australia?

Please select your team from the list and do post your playing XI in the message board below.



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