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3 Indian Players for whom the second Test is vitally important

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
5.16K   //    09 Oct 2018, 18:32 IST

The Indian team
The Indian team

India won the first Test against the West Indies by a massive margin of an innings and 272 runs. This was India’s biggest Test win against West Indies.

Before the second Test starts at Hyderabad on Friday, let us take a look at 3 Indian players for whom the second Test is vitally important.

KL Rahul

KLRahul’s career started with a bang when he scored a century in only his second Test at Sydney. He followed that up with a century against Sri Lanka at Colombo in his fourth Test. There was a time in 2017 when Rahul scored 7 consecutive 50s in 7 Test innings against Australia and Sri Lanka. But his form dipped since the South Africa tour early this year.

Rahul played in two Test matches in South Africa and had scores of 10, 4, 0 & 16. Against Afghanistan at home, Rahul scored a 50 in the only innings he played.

The England Test series was a nightmare for Rahul until the last day of the tour. Before that, in 9 innings Rahul had scores of 4, 13, 8, 10, 23,36,19, 0 & 37. Then came the last innings of the England series. Rahul’s previous records suggest that he has always scored heavily in a dead rubber when there was no pressure to perform.

When Rahul and India had nothing to lose on the fourth innings of the Oval Test, Rahul decided to go on the attack mode. He went all guns blazing and scored a remarkable 149 on a difficult fourth innings pitch. With a little bit of luck, Rahul could have saved that Test for India. But that innings of 149 saved Rahul’s Test career. He was about to go the Dhawan and Vijay way when his fortunes took a u-turn. The team management must be complimented for giving a long rope to Rahul in England.

Unfortunately, Rahul got out in the very first over in the Rajkot Test. That makes the second Test at Hyderabad vitally important for K.L. Rahul. There is no doubt that he would be in the Indian squad for the tour of Australia. But Rahul should make use of his batting stint in the Hyderabad Test to come back to form. Even a score of 50 against the mediocre West Indies bowling line-up should do him a world of good in terms of confidence ahead of the Australian tour.

Rahul’s overall Test average is 38. In Australia, South Africa, and England, Rahul has scored 459 runs in 18 innings at an average of 25. Apart from his two centuries in Sydney and London, Rahul was inconsistent in the remaining 16 innings in which he has the highest score of 37, that too in the first innings of the Oval Test.

The Australian tour would be a decisive tour as far as Rahul’s career is concerned. There are other new players like Mayank Agarwal breathing down his neck.

So as to go in the right frame of mind to Australia, Rahul should make use of the opportunity in the second Test at Hyderabad. Rahul should be cautious in the initial stages of his innings when he is vulnerable to in-swingers getting bowled or trapped in front. Once Rahul sees off the new ball, he is capable of a big innings as he showed in the Oval Test. 

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ANALYST
A Company Secretary by profession and a passionate cricket fan by choice. Following the game for the last 35 years.
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