Eng vs Ind, 2nd Test: Time for Indian batsmen to make it count as visitors look to shine at Lord’s

New Delhi [India], August 11 : The first Test between India and England might have ended in a draw after rain played spoilsport on the final day of the match, but it is fair to say that the visitors hold the upper hand going into the second match of the series, beginning on Thursday at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The Virat Kohli-led side needed 157 runs to win on the final day, with nine wickets in hand, but rain played spoilsport and as a result, the series stands level at 0-0. In the first Test, India went in with four-seamers (Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur) and one spinner (Ravindra Jadeja). However, a few eyebrows were raised when Ashwin did not feature in the playing XI even when he had played a county game before the first Test. While the bowling attack rose to the challenge and didn’t let the English batsmen settle down, the same cannot be said of the batting unit. India’s batting performance in the first innings of the opening game left a lot to be desired. Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul stitched a 97-run stand, but the visitors failed to capitalise as Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane disappointed with the bat.
Comeback man Rahul and Jadeja were the bright spots with the bat in hand, and it would be interesting to see whether the rest of the batting line-up comes forward and makes it count at the Lord’s.
It will also be interesting to see how the battle between India skipper Virat Kohli and England’s pace spearhead James Anderson plays out. It was 1-0 to Anderson in the first Test as he dismissed Kohli for a golden duck. But one can expect Kohli to come back hard as the battle between the two has over the years managed to grab headlines and it is one of the most exciting spectacles in the longest format. A quality performance at the Home of Cricket is definitely something that the India skipper would be aiming for.
Talking about England, the hosts have a few problems of their own as the batting order still does not give much confidence and it is only Joe Root who continues to perform day in and day out. The rest of the batting order continues to struggle and in Ben Stokes’ absence, it is the need of the hour that the likes of Jos Buttler and Zak Crawley rise to the occasion.
James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were the standout performers with the ball in hand for the hosts in the first Test, and it is likely that England once again plays Anderson and not give him rest, looking at the veteran’s form. Moeen Ali has been added to the squad for the second Test, and it would be interesting to see whether England play him as a spin-bowling all-rounder.
Squad: England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Daniel Lawrence, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Mark Wood, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, Dominic Bess, Ollie Pope, Haseeb Hameed, Moeen Ali.
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Umesh Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Abhimanyu Easwaran.

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