India will want to overcome the errors made in first Test vs England    AFP and Getty Images
India will want to overcome the errors made in first Test vs England AFP and Getty Images

A clinical performance from England gave quite a scare to the No. 1 Test side, India, in the first Test of the five-match series at Rajkot. This time around, India will want to keep their best foot possible if they want to take a lead in the ongoing five-Test series versus England. Struggling India will take on gritty England in the second Test at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, starting this Thursday. There was sloppy fielding, missed opportunities, spinners caught in whirlwind apart from four centuries from the other end in the series opener which kept spectators glued to the first Test. It was a mixed ride for India as well as England. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England 2nd Test at Visakhapatnam

Indian skipper Virat Kohli had mentioned that he was unhappy with the Rajkot pitch. However, the Visakhapatnam pitch has something better to offer for the hosts. So much so that Kohli is surely in for a dilemma whether to go for an extra batsman or play a spinner instead. Now with the inclusion of KL Rahul, it has only added fuel to fire. Kohli and co. have made it clear to go ahead with Rahul, drawing curtains to Gautam Gambhir s Test career in all likelihoods. On the other hand, England came in as party spoilers, succeeded with their plan and will like to continue in same stead.

There were some milestones to celebrate in the first Test; there is a major milestone to celebrate for the run-machine of India as well as England Kohli and Joe Root as the duo are destined to play their respective 50th Test at Visakhapatnam. There are lots to look forward to as here are some key clashes expected to unfold from the second Test:

Kohli vs Root: Very rarely you find the same milestone being completed by two batsmen from different teams, on the same day, same match. Yes, Kohli and Root have reached their 50th Test and what a better occasion than a Test series which involves both of them. From debuting in 2011 against West Indies to India s Test captain Kohli has had a joy ride for sure. In the 49 Tests so far, Kohli has scored 3,643 runs at an average of 46.11 with 13 centuries and 12 half-centuries. He becomes the 28th cricketer to have played 50 or more Tests for his country. Kohli s aggressive characteristic and immaculate capability of scoring runs at a consistent level has caught everyone’s attention and will be expected to lit up the venue wherein he holds a great record.

For Root, it has been nothing less than a fairytale. Making his Test debut against the same team in 2012 to coming close to completing a cherished milestone in whites, Root has certainly had an eventful Test career so far. The icing on the cake will be to make it memorable with a match winning performance. England s prolific run-machine and No. 2 ranked batsmen in Tests will surely like another vital innings under his belt like he did in first innings of Rajkot Test. That pretty much summarises that there will be run flow, if not cash flow for the common man.

England vs Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra: Indian spinners were not their usual against England in the first Test. They can entirely not be blamed as some missed opportunities incurred thereby highlighting India’s lackluster fielding against the visitors. Ashwin, who won back-to-back Man of the Series awards in the last two series, ended with just 3 wickets in the first Test. Mishra was under-used on most occasions and when was applied, he was spot on. Jadeja failed to fire with the bat and ball on his home ground, where he has tons of runs and bag full of wickets in the domestic circuit. However, it will be a tough call between Mishra/Jadeja with a newbie in form of Jayant Yadav itching to make his presence felt.

However, Mishra s recent five-wicket haul in this venue against New Zealand in the final One-Day International (ODI), might just give him another run in the series. This will be a golden opportunity for the spinners to stand-up and perform on a turf expected to assist tweakers.

KL Rahul vs comeback: One was surprised over the recall of Rahul into the squad. However, Gambhir fans were disappointed as they felt he still deserves a chance after scores of 29 & o in Rajkot. Being brought back from the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2016-17 on the back of some spirited innings of 76 & 106 on his comeback match, Rahul has a task in hand. After staying away almost for the entire series against New Zealand (featuring in the first Test only), the right-handed batsman will face the heat to perform from word go, if selected. Rahul’s biggest threat will be that he is staging a comeback which is always difficult for any player.

Ajinkya Rahane vs England spinners: One could clearly witness the struggles of India s Test deputy against England spinners at Rajkot. While in the first innings, he was bowled by debutant Zafar Ansari, the second innings saw Rahane being dismissed for 1 after being bundled out by Moeen Ali in similar fashion. Knowing the crunch of runs which comes from the middle-order Rahane will be expected to be on his toes and stitch a cautious innings this time around.

All in all a very dramatic second Test is on cards and knowing that England have been unbeaten in their last four Tests in India, the hosts have various reasons to be wary about. So here is for many more milestones that can be cracked in this series, the tactics and strategies that both teams have in place for each other and lastly to witness India’s long stay at the numero uno spot in Test rankings.

(Shruti Hariharan is a Content Writer with CricketCountry. You can follow her on Twitter at @Shruti_2890)