IND vs ENG, 2nd Test: Will Sarfaraz Khan make his debut in Vizag? India batting coach gives 'tough' response
The upcoming India vs England Test match, commencing from Friday in Vishakhapatnam, holds significant importance for the hosts as they aim to level the series after a defeat in the opener in Hyderabad.
India's batting coach, Vikram Rathour, on Wednesday expressed the challenge of choosing between Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar for the second Test against England, emphasizing the difficulty of the decision. The upcoming match, commencing from Friday in Vishakhapatnam, holds significant importance for the hosts as they aim to level the series after a defeat in the opener in Hyderabad.
Following the first game, India encountered injury setbacks with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul ruled out for the second Test. The absence of star batter Virat Kohli further compounded their concerns. In response, selectors included uncapped players Sarfaraz Khan, Sourabh Kumar, and Washington Sundar to the squad, while Rajat Patidar also earned a spot in the team.
"It will be a tough choice. What value they bring to the team, of course, is that they are superb players. We have seen how well they have done in domestic cricket in the last few years," Rathour said of the reinforcements during a press conference.
"So on these kind of wickets, I think they can really add a lot of value to the team."
He added, "If we have to pick just one out of them, of course, it would be tough. But, that decision will be made by Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma."
"It (pitch) is difficult to predict. It will turn, maybe not from the first day, but eventually, it will turn. That's how the wicket looks like." Rathour added.
After the defeat in Hyderabad, India dropped to fifth place in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings, intensifying their resolve to stage a comeback. Rathour emphasized that beyond recuperation, the players must prioritize learning and progress.
"There's no question of recovery. You keep learning every game that you play. Of course, we could have done better in batting, bowling and fielding. A lot of discussions and ideas are being shared, preparing well and hoping to do well in the next game," he said.
He expressed confidence in the players' capacity to rebound and highlighted India's undefeated streak in Test series at home since 2012.
"We keep talking about our batters (not scoring enough), but India has been winning a lot of series at home. We haven't lost a series at home for 12-13 years. It means we are putting up more runs than the other teams. These are tough conditions to score runs, but I'm sure that the batters will find a way," the batting coach added.