Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: England vs India: Second Test Preview

England vs India: Second Test Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

England may have taken the series lead with a thrilling victory at Edgbaston, but there has been plenty for the hosts to work on ahead of the second Test at Lord's.

India will have been bitterly disappointed to come so close to victory, only to fall short in a chase of 194, thanks to a batting collapse.

England v India | Thursday, 9 August - Monday, 13 August | Lord's, London | 12:00    

To Win Match    
England 1/1 
Draw 15/4
India 17/10   

England will make at least two changes to the XI that triumphed at Edgbaston, with Dawid Malan dropped from the middle-order and all-rounder Ben Stokes appearing in court.

The loss of Stokes will be a massive blow, with the Durham man proving his worth in the Indian fourth innings in Birmingham. Stokes dismissed Virat Kohli, which triggered India's slide to defeat, but his place in the squad has been taken by Chris Woakes, who is fit again having injured himself earlier in the British summer.
The home side may be tempted to tinker with the balance of the XI, as the Lord's pitch could take some turn as the Test wears on, bringing Moeen Ali into the frame for the second all-rounder's slot behind Sam Curran.

After winning the Man of the Match award at Edgbaston, skipper Joe Root still wouldn't guarantee young Curran a place in the XI, but it seems unlikely that the hosts will drop a freshly-minted Test hero.

Surrey and England Lions batsman Ollie Pope comes into the squad - and will likely bat at four despite a lack of experience in that position for the 20-year-old. England have made it clear that Pope will take Malan's place. Malan was under pressure going into the first Test - due to a lack of runs and a double failure, coupled with twice dropping Kohli on his way to a ton - made his position in the side untenable.

England's bowling attack looks well equipped to trouble England, though Woakes will need to try to match the penetration of Stokes. Stuart Broad and James Anderson have been consistent, while Curran has been brilliant in patches. The form of the pace bowlers means that reserve bowler Jamie Porter is unlikely to get a run just yet.

The hosts' entire top-order will need to prove their worth after a far from impressive display in the first outing, where only Root and Jonny Bairstow passed 50. Keaton Jennings bought himself more time at the top by twice out-batting opening partner Alastair Cook, but the axe still hangs over his head.

Batting was an uphill battle for both sides in the first Test, but India will be concerned at their reliance on skipper Kohli, whose first-innings century singlehandedly kept India in the game.

An area India have impressed in, though, is their bowling. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were expected to lead the attack in England, but their absence through injury has provided a platform for others to impress.

The pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami were brilliant at Edgbaston, with all three showing how much they have learned in the last two years or so. Bumrah will not return in time for the second Test - and it is unclear when Bhuvneshwar will make his comeback. That will leave the incumbent pace trio to carry the attack and perhaps further impress coach Ravi Shastri and skipper Kohli.

India will need to find someone in the top order capable of sticking with Kohli - and may bring back the out-of-sorts Cheteshwar Pujara to tough it out at number three in the place of Lokesh Rahul.

Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik came in for a roasting thanks to his glovework at Edgbaston, but India are unlikely to gamble on young Rishabh Pant just yet.

Verdict: India 17/10
The Lord's surface is expected to favour batting - and may be the only venue in England where matches might actually go for the full five days. If things are a bit easier on the batsmen, expect that to tip the scales in India's favour.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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