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Match Preview – India vs England, England tour of India 2020/21, 2nd Test

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If there’s anything Test cricket has taught us in the last couple of months, it is that even the most reasonable of predictions can go horribly wrong. Many experts predicted India to crumble after Virat Kohli left Australia when his team was 1-0 down, but saw the most dramatic script unfold with the last drop of thrill squeezed out till the last session of the hard-fought series. Hardly anyone gave a highly depleted West Indies any chance in Bangladesh, only to see a debutant score an unbeaten double-century to chase down a mammoth 395 in the last hour in Chattogram. And England – despite a 2-0 win in Sri Lanka – were not favourites in the four-match series against an India side with many of its frontline players back. But Joe Root and James Anderson led the way as England handed the hosts their first Test loss in Chennai in 22 years.

So, if you have any predictions for the second Test, or for the series, it might be a good idea to take them down a notch or two.

High on the back of their sixth straight away win and as many on the trot in Asia, England’s biggest challenge would be similar to the one Australia faced in India in early 2017 after they took a 1-0 lead with a win in Pune: sustain the pressure on the home side. India will be near-unstoppable especially if they win the toss on Saturday. What must England do that Australia couldn’t after they lost the toss in Bengaluru and then went on to lose the series?

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