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KL Rahul is set to make his comeback Getty Images

Having earned a hard-fought draw, the Indian cricket team will feel as if they got out of a jail at Rajkot wherein England had pinned down the high-flying Indians. In the first Test of the five-match series, England not only came very close to victory but they played better cricket than the hosts for five consecutive days, and thus were able to provide them an excellent opportunity to win the contest. The hosts were served a gentle warning by the English side, and any sign of complacency and slackness could hurt India, who are likely to make a few changes for the second Test which begins on Thursday. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England 2nd Test at Visakhapatnam

India did not make any selection error in the first Test, but their performances were not up to the mark. Inside the first 6 overs of the Test India spilled as many as 3 catches and remained generally poor with their catching and fielding. Even captain Virat Kohli was ordinary with his fielding, and England capitalised on this to the fullest. England piled up 500 and more runs in the first innings, and did even better in the second innings. India were set 310 to win in 49 overs, and England were able to snaffle a few early wickets to put pressure on the hosts.

Going into the second Test, India will want to tweak their playing XI in order to feel confident as far as team selection is concerned. Let us take a look at the possible playing XI which India can field for the second Test at Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam:

Top-order: Usually the Indian camp remains silent about the changes they have to make in the playing XI, but both captain Virat Kohli and coach Anil Kumble have declared that KL Rahul will be back in the team. Rahul, who has been terrific for India in whatever amount of cricket that he has played, will be back in the team replacing Gautam Gambhir. Unfortunately for the Gambhir, he had two poor innings in the first Test at Rajkot, a heaven for batsmen. On a wicket where bowlers found it difficult to make breakthroughs, Gambhir scored 29 and 0 and was dismissed by seamers on both occasions.

Rahul is all set to open for India in place of Gambhir, and he will provide solidity to the top-order coming out to bat with Murali Vijay. The right-handed Vijay was rock solid in the first innings of the Rajkot Test with a 310-ball 126 before playing another cameo in the fourth innings. At No. 3 will be the in-form Cheteshwar Pujara. Had it not been the strong second-wicket stand of 209 runs between Vijay and Pujara, India would have probably lost the contest keeping in mind how rapidly things changed in England s favour on the last two days.

The Indian top-order looks extremely dangerous, since Vijay and Pujara are coming off impressive centuries and Rahul notched up 76 and 106 for Karnataka against Rajasthan at Vizianagaram.

Middle-order: Kohli looked in form with his two scores in 40s (unbeaten in the second innings) against England at Rajkot. The Indian captain was the only reason why the hosts were able to push for a draw on the final day; otherwise the team would have been left with some embarrassment to face. Kohli was a happy man at the end of the game for successfully steering India to a draw when a defeat loomed large over their nervous batsmen. Kohli will bat at No. 4, and he will be expected to get a big score after making two good starts in the first Test. On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane will want to put behind some disappointment and put his best foot forward. Rahane was dismissed for cheap in both the innings, and India cannot afford to have their batsmen failing if they want to go in with five bowlers. India will not mind if Rahane s flop show is left behind in Rajkot.

India have promoted Ravichandran Ashwin at No. 6 some time back. He did a terrific job with bat, even though a benign wicket at Rajkot did not support him to take a lot of wickets. Ashwin s 70 and 32 in the first Test helped India to get runs they did get not from their specialist batsmen. But if India decide to play an extra batsman, which can be Karun Nair in place of an extra spinner, Ashwin may actually bat lower in the order.

Lower-order: Wriddhiman Saha will be India s biggest bet in this department. A very skilful wicketkeeper in general, Saha had his bad moments in the Rajkot Test. Saha did not contribute heavily with the bat, but his awkward innings and his subsequent dismissal in the second innings did raise a few eyebrows. Saha will like to forget the first Test as one-off and put his best foot forward to eke out the shortcomings. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja scored a quickfire 32 not out in the final innings for India, and the hosts will want their domestic circuit bully to get a few valuable runs.

India s bowling combination will be the biggest question for Kohli and the team management. Of the three specialist spinners, Amit Mishra can be said to have a bad game in which he leaked a lot of runs. Mishra bowled a lot of full-tosses in particular, and it will be worrisome for India if he is selected and continues to perform the same way. Mishra returns to the same venue wherein he ransacked New Zealand in the final ODI, and should be given another chance on what looks like a flat deck.

As far as fast bowling is concerned, both Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav were very unlucky to not have picked up wickets despite producing opportunities. Both Shami and Umesh bowled their hearts out, but a final look at the wicket on Thursday may decide on the possibility of their participation in the opening Test.

India likely XI: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.

(Devarchit Varma is a senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)