After an impressive first Test draw against India in Rajkot, England will head into the second encounter in fine fettle.
Alastair Cook’s men briefly had the hosts sweating too, having reduced India to 71-4 on the final day before a rally from Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Highlights for the tourists in the opening Test included yet more stunning performances with the bat by Joe Root and Ben Stokes.
Root hit 124 in the 1st innings, with Stokes topping that on 128, while Mooen Ali’s 117 ensued England put themselves in the best possible position early on.
And further signs of encouragement came from debutant Haseeb Hameed. After a steady 31 in the 1st innings, the 19-year-old hit a sublime 82 second time out, to hint towards a very bright Test future.
This will be the first Test match played at the picturesque ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, but India have won five of six completed ODIs held at the venue.
But that shouldn’t deter Cook and his charges, with the lack of Test cricket arguably a neutralising factor for the hosts.
Plus – England head into the second clash boosted by the news that Jimmy Anderson has been declared fit to play.
Root – boasting a sensational 92.38 average versus India in Tests – has been enhanced to 10/3 (was 11/4) favourite to be England’s top 1st Innings Runscorer.
Meanwhile, Stokes is 13/2 to repeat his Rajkot heroics.
And it would be typical Anderson is he claimed the spoils at 9/2.
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