Date: August 12-16, 2021
Time: 3:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Lord's, London
England and India will resume their Test series with the second Test set to begin on Thursday, August 12, at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground in London. Although the first Test of the five-match series did witness some high-quality cricket action, Day 5 getting washed out meant the match ended in a draw. India went ahead with a combination of four pacers and a spin-bowling all-rounder in the first Test, with only Ravindra Jadeja making it to the cut.
While Virat Kohli has already hinted that this could be a template moving forward in the Tests, injury to Shardul Thakur may have disturbed his plans and it would be interesting to see who replaces Shardul, in case he fails the last minute-fitness. The bowling was superb from both sides and it would be a test of which team bats better where England look slightly vulnerable. However, make no mistake, India's record in recent times haven't been good either but the innings of KL Rahul in the opening Test and the form of Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant would be assuring.
Rohit will need to convert his starts into a big score and with him, one gets the feeling that he is just one big score away from breaking the trend. Joe Root was with little doubt the best batter in the Test and yet again English batting will revolve around him although they might be looking to add Moeen Ali for balance. Brace yourselves for an exciting Test match ahead.
Head to Head:
England won: 48
India won: 29
While Moeen Ali is almost certain of walking into the playing XI due to his impressive record against India especially in English conditions, there could be a toss-up between Haseeb Hameed and Dominic Sibley as well Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope in the batting. It is their batting that has been the weaker link and if they can put a good foundation up front for the likes of Root, Buttler and Bairstow, Ali to follow. The Three Lions are capable of scoring big runs that can put pressure on India.
KL Rahul has done more than enough to get a long run even if Mayank Agarwal has regained fitness. Other than that, there could only be a forced change with an injury to Shardul and perhaps the team could choose either R Ashwin due to his batting credentials or a pace option in Umesh Yadav/Ishant Sharma.
Players to watch out for:
Every time he fails, he makes it a point to come back stronger and after getting out for a golden duck in the first innings of the Nottingham Test, he would be determined to make an impact at the Lord's Test. Watch out for King Kohli in this Test match.
What a find Ollie Robinson is turning out to be for England. He has troubled the Indian batters, picking up a fifer in the first innings and would look to continue to do the same for the remainder of this series.
Probable Playing XI
Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed/ Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley/ Ollie Pope, Joe Root (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Ollie Robinson, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, Saqib Mahmood.
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin/ Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami