Joe Root, Virat Kohli
Joe Root, Virat Kohli (Credits: ECB)

After an intriguing battle at Edgbaston last week, the convoy now moves to the Lord’s Cricket Ground for the second of the five-match Test series between India and England. Here, we are with the match preview.

Meanwhile, the game swung from one end to other as the hosts held nerves to take it home by 31 runs. There were plenty of positives for both the sides coming out of that match.

For India, Virat Kohli scored his debut hundred and backed it with a fighting 51, Ravichandran Ashwin’s seven-wicket haul and Ishant Sharma’s five-for in the second innings reveals a lot.

On the other hand for England, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow’s half-centuries, Sam Curran’s all-round effort and Ben Stokes’ match-winning spell set the game for the Three Lions.

England, therefore, will have the confidence and advantage of playing at Lord’s but they will not write off India. The visitors almost came close to winning it Birmingham and are capable of doing the same at Lord’s. Moreover, they won their last counter at Lord’s, back in 2014.

However, all is not rosy for the batsmen from either side. Barring Kohli, Root, and Bairstow, other batsmen struggled to tackle some quality swing bowling. An improvement on the batting front will be on both sides’ agenda for this game.

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane – the core of India’s batting, all of whom made low scores in Edgbaston – will have to hit form sooner rather than later, as must Alastair Cook, who was dismissed off identical deliveries by Ashwin in both innings, and Jos Buttler.

England vs India 2018: 2nd Test, Lord's - Match Preview
Ollie Pope set for Test debut at Lord’s. Getty Images

England will be without their premier all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has a court hearing to attend. Bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes has been named as Stokes’ replacement.

Furthermore, the 20-year-old Ollie Pope will make his debut at the iconic Lord’s as he replaced Dawid Malan, who was going through a lean patch.

India could ponder bringing in one of Ravindra Jadeja in place of Hardik Pandya considering the conditions in London are pretty dry. Jasprit Bumrah, who excelled in his debut in South Africa is out of contention, confirmed bowling coach Bharat Arun. But bowling isn’t a much worry for India, batting is.

Kohli scored 200 out of the 436 runs that India amassed during the match, and they had lost half their side by 100 in both innings. The batsmen need to come good.

Key Players:

Sam Curran (England): The all-rounder impressed one and all in just his second Test and bagged the Man of the Match award. With his ability to swing the ball prodigiously and score runs lower down the order, the youngster is an asset to this England side and may fill the Stokes-sized gap.

The 20-year-old Curran will look to continue his form and help his side get a 2-0 lead.

Virat Kohli (India): India will be hoping that their captain courageous comes of well once again, having seen how heroically he took them within touching distance of a victory – 200 runs in the game have also propelled his erstwhile average of 13.40 in England, and he will look to build on that.

Kohli, on the other hand, will look to continue his rich form and lead the team from the front.

England vs India 2018: 2nd Test, Lord's - Match Preview
India captain Virat Kohli during the nets session at Lord’s, London. Getty Images

Exciting Battles:

Both the nations have some quality players in their ranks, and there will be quite some exciting battles up for grab. The first Test has shown how gripping a Test match can be and this will be no different.

The first and topmost exciting battle will be between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and England’s James Anderson. While Kohli won the first battle scoring his debut century in England, Anderson is likely to come hard at him in the second Test.

Ahead of the second Test scheduled at Lord’s, Anderson spoke about fierce duel among themselves.

There’s a fiercely competitive rivalry between myself and Virat Kohli — but also enormous mutual respect,” Anderson wrote for The Sun.

 

I felt good bowling to Virat and my plans worked well. I might have dismissed him a few times with some plays and misses plus a dropped catch. I’ve been told only 17 of his 149 runs in the first innings came off my bowling,” he added.

England’s greatest ever Test batsman, Cook will have a task cut off while facing ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. While Ashwin castled Cook’s stumps in both the innings, the southpaw will come hard at him. It will be an exciting duel with Kohli giving the new ball to Ashwin.

Alastair Cook, Ravichandran Ashwin, India, England
Alastair Cook will look to score runs. Getty Images

Fact and Figures

  • Lord’s Cricket Ground hosted its first-ever game in 1884 between England and Australia. England won the match five an innings and five runs.
  • India have played 17 Tests at Lord’s with only two wins and four draws. Their last win came during their previous tour in 2014 beating the host by 95 runs.
  • England have lost two of their five last Test matches at this very and the game against Sri Lanka ending in a draw in 2016.
  • The highest score in this ground is 729 for 6, scored by Australia way back in 1930. Moreover, they won the Test by seven wickets.

Form Guide

England: WWLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)

India: LWWLL

Where to Watch

You can watch India vs England 2018, 1st Test Match live on the Sony Network. Sony Liv along with Jio TV will live stream the first Test at Edgbaston.

England vs India 2018: 2nd Test, Lord's - Match Preview
Ravi Shastri has a close look at the wicket. Credit: Twitter

Pitch and Conditions:

London is likely to be hot and dry owing to the heatwave in England. However, it is expected to be refreshing on the opening day of the Test, and there are slight chances of some rain.

The team winning the toss is likely to bowl first. The pitch is expected to assist seam and spin bowling in tandem, as it did in Edgbaston, but is on a spin-friendly surface India may look to take advantage.

Stats and Trivia:

  • The last time England beat an Asian opponent at Lord’s was India in 2011. Since there on, they have lost three and drawn two Tests respectively with Asian teams at Lord’s.
  • James Anderson averages 14.5 against Kohli in England and 92 in India.
  • During his five-for at Edgbaston, Ishant Sharma went past B Chandrasekhar to become India’s seventh-highest wicket-taker. He has the joint-highest number of five-fors for Indians in England: two.
  • Alastair Cook has converted his last two centuries into doubles, but he has scored only two of those in 21 Tests now. Despite those big innings, he averages 34.71 over the period.
  • At Edgbaston, both sides dropped four catches each. While it is near impossible to calculate the damage caused when partnerships are formed, momentum is lost, bowlers get tired.
  • Interestingly, the reprieved batsmen went on to cost England 154 runs, and India 86.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Sanjay Manjrekar
Match Preview: Cheteshwar Pujara is likely to return for the 2nd Test. Twitter

Predicted XI

Despite winning the first match, the home side have to make a forced change due to Stokes court hearing. Chris Woakes will replace Stokes while the 20-year-old Ollie Pope will come in place of Dawid Malan.

England: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

The visitors are likely to make few changes going into this game. Cheteshwar Pujara will slot in his place while Rishabh Pant can make his debut at the iconic Lord’s.

India: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav

Match Preview: Prediction –

England will be high on confidence after keeping their nerves to win the thriller at Edgbaston. But the players are aware that it will be a new day, and they need to start from the scratch.

The hosts looked more settled and will have an edge going into this game. They have experienced seamers in their line-up who knows this conditions and will be up for the massive task.

Thus, England will have a little edge over India at Lord’s and are likely to go 2-0 up in this series.

Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making...