Gautam Gambhir India England
The second Test should be the last chance saloon for Gautam GambhirReuters

India were brought back down to earth a little by a combination of an unresponsive pitch and an England team who played the spinners really well in the first Test in Rajkot. So, heading into the second Test in Visakhapatnam, the question that Virat Kohli needs to ask is if changes are needed to the playing XI.

The home team were poor in the field, particularly in the first innings, which cost them a chance of grabbing an early advantage and once they let the momentum shift to the England camp, they found it difficult to sway it back their way.

One of the best ways to gain momentum in a Test match is by putting on a big opening partnership, something India haven't been able to do often enough. Owing to injuries and inconsistency, the India openers have not quite found their mojo together.

While Murali Vijay is always going to stay at one end, the fact that he has had three different openers in the last few Test matches is not a great sign. Yes, it might have been forced due to injury to both KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, but with Gautam Gambhir failing to take advantage on a dead-as-a-dodo track in Rajkot, there is a valid question to be asked over his position at the top.

Gambhir's new open technique, which he came up with after talking to former Australia opener Justin Langer, has been much talked about, but that hasn't necessarily transformed into runs in Test match cricket. The veteran left-hander has only had two Test matches to show his worth, and the first one did not give him enough of an opportunity, with an injury also posing a problem, but you feel Gambhir should have really grabbed his chances better, especially when he knows Rahul and Dhawan are waiting in the wings.

Rahul came back from a hamstring injury to score a half-century for Karnataka against Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy and with his fitness now proved, it will be interesting to see if the right-hander will be recalled for the second Test, which begins on Thursday.

The selectors, when they picked a 15-man squad, named it for the first two Test matches, so if they stick to that line, then Rahul will have to sit out another game before returning to the squad. There is no doubt that when Rahul is fit, he will have his name called out by the selectors, such has been the impression the right-hander has made over the past few months.

Gambhir, considering his experience and his previous big-match ability, might get one more chance to show he deserves to be picked ahead of both Rahul and Dhawan in the longer run -- it looks like he might not even get that going by coach Anil Kumble's comments on Tuesday -- but if he fails to produce a big innings – a decent half-century will not do – then Rahul should walk straight back in.

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