England Vs India, Match Preview
India returns to the home of Cricket to take on the hosts in what promises to be a fascinating series. The first Test started well and could provide a thrilling finish, but wet weather deprived fans of an intriguing final day. Despite all the rain delays, the match had some exciting moments and a lot of takeaways. KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah returned to form, and James Anderson bowled beautifully while Joe Root carried England’s batting line-up. Root’s magnificent century set up a thrilling final day which was avoided due to rain. Though the target was only 201, previous stats show that India has struggled to chase in England. It is due to older games that the target seemed all the more interesting.
While the Test was very close and could have gone either way, England will have to admit that their batting remains an issue. They will be looking at other options with Ollie Pope and Haseeb Hameed on the sidelines. Whoever plays, England will hope to ease the burden on Joe Root’s shoulders.
For India, the bowling was top-class, but the batting is still an issue. Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul justified their inclusion in the side, and their positions are fixed for the next Test. The other batters, though, will need to step up. Cheteshwar Pujara’s struggles have continued, and Virat Kohli was out first ball, which will create some concerns for India.
The last time India played at the Lords Cricket Ground, they struggled and lost the game quickly.
England Vs India, Team News
Both sides have some injury concerns going into the next game. India will be without Shardul Thakur and are now in a sticky situation. They have to decide between Ashwin and another pacer. Playing a pacer will weaken the batting, but going with Ashwin will heavily burden the pacers. Ashwin has been in great form over the last year, and his inclusion seems the more likely.
For England, Stuart Broad and James Anderson are doubtful starters due to varying injuries. While Anderson is more likely to play, England will not want to risk their old pair with many Tests coming up this year. Ollie Pope has recovered from his injury and seems likely to come back, while Haseeb Hameed is also a possible starter. Another player who could make it to the eleven is Moeen Ali.
Moeen Ali has been in top form, and his inclusion could help with the balance of the side. With Stokes out of the side, Ali could fill the gap created by the all-rounder. His spin bowling creates another option, providing England with a lot of assistance.
England Vs India, Predicted XIs
England (possible): 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Zak Crawley/Haseeb Hameed, 4 Joe Root (capt.), 5 Jonny Bairstow, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Sam Curran, 9 Ollie Robinson, 10 Mark Wood, 11 Craig Overton/Saqib Mahmood
India (possible): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Cheteshwar Pujuara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin/Ishant Sharma, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj
England Vs India, Players to Watch out for
Ravichandran Ashwin has been magnificent for a while and was unlucky to miss out on selection in the first Test. With Thakur injured, Ashwin could get a chance, and he will be hoping to make the most of it. A good performance from him could create a lot of selection headaches ahead of the third Test. With England’s line-up known to struggle against spin, he could add to their batting troubles.
Moeen Ali has been in good form during the hundred, which prompted his inclusion in the Test side, although they are completely different formats. He is now back in the side and will play the team he started his Test career against. With good batting form and handy bowling, Ali could provide a lot of options to his skipper.
England Vs India, Pitch and Conditions
The Lord’s surface is generally grassy and assists a lot of swings. The pacers will find purchase early in the Test, but the weather could increase the chances of a dry surface as the Test goes on. The weather is set to be precise, although with some cloud cover. Despite the early swing, batting first could be the better option for the second Test.