Axar Patel has returned to fitness and is in line for a Test debut in the Chennai Test starting Saturday. Consequently, Shahbaz Nadeem, Patel's last-minute replacement for the first Test, was left out of the squad. Patel's absence because of a left knee strain on the eve of the first Test possibly disturbed India's combination.

It meant Washington Sundar had to play for the batting cushion at No. 7, which ruled Kuldeep Yadav out because India needed at least one bowler to take the ball away from right-hand batsmen.

While India's three frontline bowlers kept the batsmen quiet on a flat pitch in the first innings of the match, Sundar and Nadeem, both in their second Test, leaked runs. All three of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin went at under three an over, whereas Nadeem and Sundar conceded 265 runs in 70 overs between them.

"You need to understand two things in this situation - as a bowling unit, we didn't bowl well collectively," India's captain Kohli said after the match. "If you consider the fast bowlers and Ashwin, then yes, we bowled consistently and in good areas.

"But if Washi and Shahbaz had also bowled such economical spells, then you create more pressure, [and] you cut out 80-90 runs from the opposition. So there's no need to overthink it. We just have to continuously build pressure on them. And if we do that, then I have full belief that we'll get the results that we've achieved as a side on many occasions."

On the slow pitch, Nadeem struggled for accuracy whenever he tried to bowl quicker. Patel is an inherently quicker bowler than Nadeem, something that could be a deterrent to the sweep shot too. If Patel makes it, he will be India's fourth debutant in as many Tests this year. In all likelihood the third spinner's slot will be contested between Sundar and Yadav. Sundar's batting cushion will carry less value given Patel's batting, which could allow the more attacking option in Yadav to come in.