IND vs ENG, 2nd Test: Rahane confident Chepauk pitch will turn from day one

This will be the first time in Test history that India is going to play back-to-back matches at the same venue.

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Friday said the pitch at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai bears a completely different look ahead of the second of four Tests.   -  BCCI

India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Friday said the pitch at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai bears a completely different look ahead of the second of four Tests against England that starts on Saturday.

"I am sure it will turn from day No. 1. We will have to wait and see how it plays in the first session and take it on from there. We have to forget what happened in the first Test and focus on playing good cricket. We know these conditions really well. Don't think it'll be tricky as such. The sooner we adjust to the wicket, the better it will be," Rahane said during a virtual interaction on the eve of the game. This will be the first time in Test history that India is going to play back-to-back matches at the same venue.

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Rahane says India, which lost the first match of the red-ball leg of the tour by 227 runs on Tuesday, has now done all it can to plan on how things needed to be dealt with going forward. He said, "We addressed the issues in that Test match and talked about what we can do as a team (to minimise the errors) and improving as a bowling and batting unit. Overthinking may often lead to a negative mindset creeping in. As a team, it is very important to stay together. England played well. They dominated the Test match and more sessions as well. We will have to think more about what our strategy is going to be going ahead."

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association has put in place a number of health protocols as Chepauk gears up to witness the first instance of fans being allowed for an international sporting event in India since the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year. Rahane said it means a lot to the team to have the backing of the home crowd.

"We are really excited to have people hereon. It means a lot to get the support from a crowd. Hope people will come here and enjoy our cricket," Rahane said.

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In the first Test, the England batsmen, especially captain Joe Root, employed the sweep and reverse sweep to good effect against India's spinners. When asked why the home team did not use a similar tactic, Rahane said it was just a matter of how one chose to take the attack to the opposition bowlers.

"It depends on what lines and lengths the opposition bowls. England came up with plans to play the sweep and reverse sweep. So, it is not necessary that we play similar shots. It is all about what they bowl and how we decide to attack and play our game," said the 32-year-old.

 

Rahane also weighed in on the teams' rotation policies, which have now become a buzzword as sides like England, New Zealand and Pakistan resort a workload management system for its players with growing international and league commitments.

"England have been doing that. They did that in Sri Lanka as well. That's their strategy. Considering what is happening at the moment, where everyone is in the bubble, it is difficult for players to have mental strength. For us, each and every member is of quality, and we are not thinking of anyone as an individual. We are taking them as a part of a team. We want to focus on our strengths and not think about what others are doing."

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