With the pitch being the focus again, India will hope to trump England in the second Test match in Visakhapatnam, which begins from Thursday. While India failed to dominate, as expected, on a docile wicket in Rajkot, the hosts will be expected to perform a lot better in the 2nd Test, which in turn brings pressure.
That pressure wasn't handled too well by India in the opening encounter, with England winning a crucial toss and then never relinquishing the advantage. India shot themselves in the foot by dropping catches, but, overall, they just did not bowl well enough to keep the pressure on England, be that in the first innings or in the second.
Credit should be given to England to the way they handled the spinners, particularly R Ashwin, who was made to look like an ordinary bowler by a combination of good batting and a dead pitch.
Ashwin is too good a bowler to be kept quiet for a second Test match at home, though, and England will be aware of that. What they will need to make sure is that they don't give cheap wickets away, particularly to the other bowlers. If the entire burden of wicket-taking falls upon Ashwin again, while the pressure keeps getting eased at the other end, even the off-spinner might struggle.
Keeping Ravindra Jadeja quiet for another game won't be easy either, particularly if the surface is anything like the one that was witnessed in the final one-day international between India and New Zealand.
As unchanging as the pitch in Rajkot was, India also had a poor time of it with the ball, with all three of their spinners not anywhere near the top of their game. While the fast bowlers were pretty good, they are not going to win you Test matches too often in these conditions.
Virat Kohli might have rightly criticised the surface – the excessive grass was so that the first ever Test match at the venue would last all five days, but it went a little too far – but he will also know, India were second best when it came to the bowling.
That cannot happen again and the captain will be confident enough in his unit to know that two below-par Test matches are unlikely to happen. Ashwin is too good a bowler for that and so is Jadeja. Whoever plays as the third spinner – Amit Mishra or Jayant Yadav – will also be expected to contribute more, and if Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami bowl like they did in the first Test, they should be fine.
Where to Watch Live
India vs England 2nd Test match is scheduled for a 9.30am IST (4am GMT, 11am ET) start. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: TV: Star Sports HD1, Star Sports HD3, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
US and Canada: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Live.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport 2. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports 1. Live Streaming: Foxtel.