The home of cricket, is set to host the second match, the Lord’s Test, of the five match test series between India and England tomorrow. England have already drawn the first blood by winning a closely contested match at Edgbaston and now lead the series 1-0.
Virat Kohli must be feeling hard done by after he fought a lone battle in the first test. No other Indian batsmen could extend their support to the captain as India missed a historic win by a whisker. However there are a lot of points to look back for Virat Kohli’s men. But the mood in the English camp is different. The players are brimming with confidence after the win.
English bowlers were right on the money throughout the first test. No Indian batsmen other than Virat Kohli could get a hold of their bowling. However Indian bowlers were getting the better of the English batsmen in many occasions, which will certainly encourage the Indian camp ahead of the Lord’s Test. The Indian side will be under huge pressure to deliver and England can use it to their advantage.
Many eyes were raised when Kohli and Ravi Shastri decided to put Chesteshwar Pujara on the bench in the first test. Pujara has already gained a lot of experience on English soil after playing a good amount of county cricket. Kohli would like to bring Pujara back in the Lord’s Test and strengthen the much depleted middle order. One of Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul might be dropped. While both Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami looked sharp with ball, Umesh Yadav was wayward at times. With Bumrah sent home and Bhuvaneswar Kumar out with injury for the first three tests, Kohli would be hoping that Yadav comes into the play and supports the other two aptly in the Lord’s Test. Ravichandran Ashwin was more than impressive at Edgabston, and even opened the bowling in the second innings. The off-spinner took seven wickets and was instrumental in restricting the English for a relatively low score.
The English side are likely to undergo some changes as well. Ben Stokes has a court hearing later this week and is likely to miss the Lord’s Test. Chris Woakes is expected to make a comeback after recovering from an injury and might replace the talented all rounder. Dawid Malan’s poor form might see him get dropped as England are prepared to hand the Surrey born, Ollie Pope, a debut. Joe Root would be hoping that veteran Alastair Cook can add up some runs to his sleeves.
The pitch for the Lord’s Test is expected to be a hard and dry. This might just favour the spinners a little bit more. And this factor may lead Virat Kohli to add either of Ravindra Jadeja or Kuldeep Yadav into the playing eleven. The first match was a battle of nerves. Can the second match be as close as the first or will it have a piece of history by itself?
Probable Playing XI for the Lord’s test:
Alaistar Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root(c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow(w), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Shikhar Dhawan/KL Rahul, Murali Vijaya, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav/Kuldeep Yadav.
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