The second test of the bilateral series between India and England starts from Thursday at Lords. This is the second of the five test matches to be played between the two teams. The first match which ended on Sunday was drawn after some good batting display from both the teams especially from the lower order. Both the teams will have to look into their bowling department if they have to pick up 20 wickets of the opposition and win the match.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni will expect a better performance from Mohammed Shami than what he delivered at Trent Bridge. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the key again after he picked up 5 wickets on a batting surface in the last match. Dhoni may consider Ravichandran Ashwin in the team to replace Jadeja, as the latter had almost no impact on the match. He was unable to pick up a single wicket. Stuart Binny scored 78 at number 8 position and proved that he is more than handy with the bat. If Ashwin replaces Jadeja, Binny will probably move up the order. Batting should not be a concern for India as most of the top order looked in fine form.

On the other hand Alaistair Cook should be looking for a better batting display. The home side’s captain is under immense pressure and can’t buy a run. The rest of the top order is massively inexperienced, and the pace attack is being run into the ground. Throw in some subcontinental-style pitches and the stars seem to be aligning for a rare Indian overseas win. England lost 9 wickets before they reached 300 and it was down to a record partnership between Joe Root and Anderson that came to their rescue.

India should be looking to grab the opportunities that come in their way. If they did in the first match the results could have been different. Former Australian Captain Ian Chappel said that he will love to see Rohit Sharma and Ashwin in the playing squad at Lords. “Lords is not that good for spinners. So, I will drop Jadeja and Binny and play Rohit and Ashwin. That will be a far better and balanced side.”

Among the English bowlers, Anderson looked in fine form as he swung the ball but was unlucky not to pick up many wickets. Moeen Ali picked up wickets too but Indian batsmen being naturally good players of spin may dominate him in the next match.

Both the teams will be looking to win the next match and get in good position in series. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has already said that this is going to be a competitive series as both the teams are more or less equal in batting and bowling strength.


India’s Squad

Shikhar Dhawan, Murli Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed ShamiIshant Sharma

England’s Squad

Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance,  Joe Root, Ian Bell, Moeen Ali,  Ben Stokes, Matt Prior (wk),  Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett, James Anderson. 

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