England vs India 2nd Test Preview: A dry Lord's awaits mouth-watering contest
While England are expected to replace Zak Crawley and Stuart Broad with Haseeb Hameed and Mark Wood respectively, India's Mohammad Siraj might have to make way for Ishant Sharma.
Live Scores and Stats - England vs India 2nd Test
No rain this time
It was frustrating to wait for several hours on day 5 of the Nottingham Test and be disappointed at the end of it. Even if 30 overs were possible, with India needing to chase down 150-odd with 9 wickets in hand, it would have made for a cracking finish.
Although India were the favourites to clinch the match, having been in the pole position throughout the game, it was Joe Root's classy century which gave England an opportunity. As Root said in the post-match conference, it was quite possible to bowl nine wicket-taking deliveries given the pitch and the conditions at Trent Bridge.
That said, England will certainly be the happier team with the draw and will be pleased going to Lord's at 0-0. India, on the other hand, will be disappointed but quietly confident. If they can do it once, they can do it four more times to create history.
India go bold
India went in with a surprising but bold team combination in the opening Test match, opting for Ravindra Jadeja as the only spinner ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin, mainly due to his batting ability and picking Shardul Thakur as the 4th seamer ahead of Umesh Yadav.
Ishant Sharma, it was reported later, failed to pass a fitness test on the morning of the Test match.
England can't play Leach; Hameed, Wood to get the nod
England not picking Jack Leach at Trent Bridge was understandable. Given that both Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes are not available, it is not probable for Leach to make the cut despite the fact that England can do with some variety in their attack.
Three changes are likely for England, as gathered by Chris Silverwood's press conference before the Lord's Test. Haseeb Hameed is set to come in in place of Zak Crawley. Hameed can open the innings with Burns or bat at number three. Another change is the now-fit Ollie Pope coming into the side in place of Daniel Lawrence.
As much as England would like to play both James Anderson and Stuart Broad throughout the five Test matches, it won't be possible. Mark Wood is likely to replace Stuart Broad at Lord's. There is a temptation to play Moeen Ali in place of Sam Curran, but that hangs in the air at the moment.
India go to Lord's with a lot less questions. Virat Kohli said at the end of the last match that they had found the template and are most likely to stick to it. However, given the weather and the slope at Lord's, playing somebody of the calibre of Ravichandran Ashwin is an enticing prospect. The weather will be dry for all the five days in London and Ashwin will really relish those conditions. But, given that England are unlikely to play a spinner and bank on Joe Root to hold one end up, expect of a lot of grass on the square.
Mohammad Siraj appeared to be the weakest link in the Indian bowling line-up in the first Test match and there is a chance of Ishant Sharma taking his spot back, given his proud record at Lord's. Umesh Yadav replacing Siraj is also a possibility if Sharma is yet to gain full fitness.
Mayank Agrawal has been batting in the nets and appears to be back to fitness after a bout of concussion. However, given the way KL Rahul performed in the first Test match, Agrawal is likely to spend more time on the bench.
If Cheteshwar Pujara does not perform at Lord's, there is a good chance of Rahul dropping to number 3 and Agarwal opening the batting alongside Rohit Sharma, but the team is unlikely to tinker with their batting line-up as of now.
India are favourites to win but the toss will be a crucial factor. The team winning the toss and batting first will have a significant advantage.
Predicted playing XIs:
England - Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, Mark Wood
India - Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj/Ishant Sharma
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