After a commanding win in Indore, Virat Kohli and company head into the historic day/night Test as overwhelming favorites. The conditions will be different, the ball will be different and the surface on offer will be challenging, but the hosts seem to have all the bases covered and as such, there is no need to make any changes to the playing XI. However, owing to the pink ball, the management could be tempted to use a wrist-spinner in Kuldeep Yadav, but Kohli could stick with his fingers spinners in Kolkata.
Here is Team India’s predicted XI for the second Test match:
Mayank Agarwal was the star performer with the bat for India as the right-hander slammed a brilliant double century in the first Test match. Mayank’s 243-run knock was an absolute masterpiece and at Eden Gardens, the youngster will surely be looking to continue his brilliant run of form.
Rohit Sharma was unlucky to miss out on a big score at the batsman-friendly Indore pitch as he was dismissed cheaply by Abu Jayed. Rohit came into the series on the back of some brilliant performances against West Indies and his relationship with Eden Gardens makes him a major threat to Bangladesh.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been a stalwart for India in Test cricket, played an uncharacteristically aggressive inning and his main target was spinner Taijul Islam. His knock of 54 off 72 balls was an important support for Mayank and he will once again be a major asset for the Indian cricket team.
It is not common for Virat Kohli to falter at home but he was dismissed for a duck in the first Test by Abu Jayed. With India playing their first-ever Day-Night Test in Kolkata, all eyes will be on the skipper and his technique while facing the pink ball which is quite a mystery for some of his teammates.
Ajinkya Rahane was the second top-scorer for India with 86 and his innings helped Mayank to play his natural game on the other side. The Indian cricket team vice-captain did squander a couple of chances in the field but his batting prowess will be vital for India against the challenge of the pink ball.
It will be a homecoming for Wriddhiman Saha and he has the first-hand experience of day-night cricket with the pink ball when local giants Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore Club played the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB)’s Super League final at the Eden in 2016. As a result, he will be able to help his teammates in the first-ever Day-Night Test and he will also be looking to score big on this momentous occasion.
A half-century and tight spin bowling – Ravindra Jadeja had a good outing in Indore. Although Kuldeep Yadav has proven himself with the pink ball, Jadeja is expected to retain his place in the Indian team.
Ravichandran Ashwin will once again the main spinner for the Indian cricket team and it will be interesting to see how he fares with the pink ball. He completed 250 wickets at home in the previous match and we can expect him to add more strikes to his already illustrious career.
The pink ball is well known for swinging significantly and that will surely be good news for Ishant Sharma. The fast bowler took two wickets in the first innings in Indore and with the pitch set to favor paces in Kolkata, a lot will be expected from the veteran pacer.
Mohammed Shami excelled with the ball in Indore and he returned with the figures of 3/27 and 4/31 in the first Test at Indore to achieve his career-best ranking. With the pacer returning to Eden Gardens, he will surely be looking to wreak havoc with the pink ball in front of his home ground.
Umesh Yadav bowled quite well in the first Test and with two wickets in both innings, he played a role in plotting the downfall of the visitors. With the pink ball, Yadav will be looking to move the ball from the get-go and his familiarity with Eden Gardens will certainly give him an extra edge.