Aakash Chopra believes the second Test match between India and England will conclude within 4 days. The former India opener think that Chepauk will present the visitors with a rank turner that will take the toss advantage out of the equation.
England trounced Virat Kohli and Co. by 227 runs in the first Test. The Chennai wicket offered negligible assistance to pacers and spinners alike on the first three days. The visitors took full advantage of this and batted for almost 2 days. In response, India's top order fluffed and the hosts conceded a 241-run lead.
The match escalated quickly on days 4 and 5 as the pitch crumbled under the heat. English spinners extracted sharp turn while pacers found reverse swing and uneven bounce and kept India to just 197 on the final day to clinch the game.
Talking to ESPNcricinfo, Aakash Chopra said toss will still be critical in the upcoming game but not as much as the first Test.
"Considering what's happening right now, 5 day Test match, a 3-day turnaround, same surface, same square - this (the pitch for the 2nd Test) is going to be a turner. And toss will be taken out of the equation somewhat. In a sense that if you win the toss, of course, there's an advantage but it's not as significant that you can bat for 2.5 days. You just can not, this pitch won't be of that nature. I dare say, I believe, this will be a 3.5-4 day Test match at best. Toss will be critical but making it count will be a lot difficult than the last match," said Aakash Chopra.
Speaking on the raging criticism of the Chennai wicket as too slow, Aakash Chopra labeled it as a typical Indian pitch. Aakash Chopra also credited England batsmen for batting as well as they did.
"... 9 out of 10 times, these are the kind of surfaces that you get to play in India. They start as a slow marathon and on days 4- 5, it's like a hundred-meter sprint. And that's exactly how the match panned out. So if this game gets over in the 2nd session on day 5, how can criticism for a pitch like that be fair? Don't expect the ball to turn and bounce right from ball one. Why would you want that kind of a surface? Credit (should be) given where due: England batted well," said Aakash Chopra.
"It's not just about winning the toss it's also about making it count" - Aakash Chopra
Many pundits felt that India would have won the game if the toss had gone in Virat Kohli's favor. However, Aakash Chopra countered this by reminding us about England's last Test tour to India, in 2016, when the visitors won the toss 4 out of 5 times but still conceded the series 4-0.
"England did win a lot of tosses in their last tour also but ended up losing 4-0. So it's not just about winning the toss it's also about making it count. And also from the Indian team's perspective, you got to still compete. You can't concede a 240-run lead and then expect the game to actually turn your way because batting did get really difficult. So imagine if the pitch had started as a rank turner then this was a 3.5-day game. Do we want that in the first Test of a series on a venue that will host 2 Tests back to back?" asked Aakash Chopra.
The 43-year-old concluded:
"Yes, the rub of the green is with the toss but you don't control it and that's why these home conditions are critical. You should have a way of winning the Test even after losing the toss - exactly what India did in 2016."
The second Test will commence on Saturday, February 13th.