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Ind v SL 2nd Test Preview: Another Green top awaits the teams in the Orange city

Thu, 23rd, Nov 2017 |
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India look to take a 1-0 lead

The Indian team led by Virat Kohli made a match out of nothing on Day 4 and 5 of the Kolkata Test. The match was heading towards a drab end, but their desire to #PlayBold and attacking cricket was what eventually forced a nail-biting finish, albeit with an expected drawn result. Dhawan and KL Rahul, after play on Day 4, mentioned to the media of the team's desire to go for the kill on the visitors on a considerably easier batting pitch on Day 5.

All the build up to the 2nd Test Match at Nagpur has been of the Indian team management asking the curators for grassy wickets. Skipper Virat Kohli confirmed this as a bigger picture move with the upcoming South African tour on the horizon. Calling it a "good wicket for overall Test cricket," he reckons that the fast bowlers would have a major impact on the first two days with the pitch being hard and green, after which spinners will come into play.

 

One has to go a long way down memory lane to recall the last time the Nagpur pitch assisted the seamers. The last time an international match was played here against the Aussies earlier in the home season, Kedar Jadhav and Axar Patel made merry as their finger spinners gripped and spun on the surface. In an earlier Ranji Trophy encounter this season between Vidarbha and Chattisgarh, there was a similar green tinge on the wicket. Both teams went in with 3 pace bowlers, in which Umesh Yadav played as well, but the spinners ended up grabbing the most wickets in that game.
Therein lies the unpredictability of this surface.

 

India would be boosted by their 2nd innings batting performance at Kolkata which was led by Virat Kohli's marauding hundred and the KL Rahul - Shikhar Dhawan opening stand. Cheteshwar Pujara has remained solid yet susceptible to the ball coming into him. Ajinkya Rahane's dismissals can evoke alarm but his ODI form allows him some leeway. Their bowling remains a positive and their seamers have stood up to such an extent of making their spinners redundant in seam friendly conditions.

 

India would fancy taking a 1-0 lead over this opposition after a missed opportunity at Kolkata. Catch all the match action Friday, 24th November onwards with the start time of 9:30 AM.

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