Lords Test, The litmus test for India. Man proposes, God disposes of.
This adage sums up the story of the Nottingham Test. India had a target of 157 runs with 9 wickets and I was confident that India would win, which we had predicted in our previous article. Whereas Root, the centurion, and savior stated that their bowlers would be able to create the nine wicket-taking deliveries.
So both captains are happy and raring to go for the Lord’s Test starting on 12th August.
Head to Head
Matches played: 127, England: 48, India: 29, Draw: 50
Match timings and where to watch
Match toss time: 15:00 IST
Match start time: 15:30 IST
Broadcaster: Sony network and Sony Liv app
Takeaways from Nottingham test
India: The application of Rohit and Rahul was commendable so Mayank is likely to warm the bench despite being deemed to fit to play after the head injury he suffered during the practice session prior to the first Test.
Failure of the Middle-order creates doubts in the Indian capability to set up huge targets. Indian pace attack has learned from mistakes made at the WTC final as Bumrah and Co. Ensured they picked the crucial wickets at regular intervals.
England: Apart from the brilliance of the English skipper, the batting unit of the hosts seems to be struggling to get going. The openers are yet to contribute, considering the first Test to be an excuse to get used to a bowling attack. We may see a revamped approach from the English batsmen.
The pace attack is good especially Anderson but they require one more bowler as we saw several instances of the bowlers tiring out. The inclusion of Moeen Ali in the squad could provide a breather to the pace attack.
In the last Test, India lost miserably by scoring 107 and 130. Anderson took 9 wickets. England won as Woakes scored a century helping England notch up 396 runs on the board when Their top-order reeled under an Indian pace attack. The result, innings defeat for India.
In 2014, India won by scoring 245 and 342 and England replied by scoring 319 and 223.
Surprisingly the main scorers were Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar, not in the top order in propping up 345, and in the first innings, Rahane scored 103 to take India to 245.
In both these test matches and others, England vs Australia and Pakistan, the pacers dominated and spinners had no role whatsoever.
So the presumption that the Lords assist spinners on the 4th and 5th day is a misnomer. So the team selection will be based on this outcome.
The injury of all-rounder Shardul Thakur comes as a huge blow for the visitors and he is likely to be replaced by the veteran pacer Ishant Sharma. Ravindra Jadeja contributed with the bat so he will continue. Said that, the second Test too could be played without India's leading spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Haseeb Ahmed will walk into the team at the expense of either Dom Sibley or Zak Crawley. Lawrence will be replaced by Moeen Ali, as he provides a bowling arm and rear guard batting option.
As far as the bowling unit is considered, Stuart Board suffered an ankle injury during the practice session which could, unfortunately, keep him out of the 2nd Test and the hosts would be looking to replace him with the 31-year old pacer, Mark Wood.
James Anderson too suffered an injury during the training session but the call on whether he will be able to feature in the playing Xl is yet to be confirmed by the team management.
It will seem from the first day and with its slope provide assistance to seam bowling till the end of 4th day. Spin will be effective only on the 5th day. The overcast conditions could once again favor the fast bowlers but the conditions are expected to be clearer on Days 2 and 3, which could see the batsmen pile on the runs.
The 2nd and 3rd days are good for batting so the team winning the toss can put the opposition to bat first. As no team has spinners in their rank so fear of 5th day will not hold.
If India bats first, they are likely to find it difficult to reach the 300 mark, however batting first England will find it difficult to reach 250, unless a maverick performance.
India will score 300+ in 2nd innings or chase a target of 200+ and win this match like in 2014. I am bullish about India on two aspects, application by Rohit in both innings shows the resolve of the Indian camp and the brittle batting of England.
For a change Pace attack of India outscores the English pace attack so favorites are India to conquer Lords.
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