After an exciting and entertaining first Test at Birmingham, England and India will face each other in the second Test at Lords, London, on Thursday. England had managed to steal a 31-run win against India in the first Test and would look to pile up agony on Virat Kohli and his men in the next match as well. India would look to shrug off the loss in the first Test and take positives from it ahead of the second Test. Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths, weaknesses of the two teams ahead of the second Test between England and India at Lord’s, London, on Thursday.
Home conditions, competitiveness, never-say-die attitude
England have many advantages to their credit in this series. They are playing at home, the fans are supporting them wholeheartedly. The pitches and conditions are in favour of them. They have been extremely competitive in the first match, making Indian batsmen earn every single run. They did not give up till the last when Indian skipper Virat Kohli was looking to spoil England’s party. All the factors came together to help England take 1-0 lead in the series.
Not being ruthless enough and dropped chances
England were guilty of letting India off the hook a few times in the first Test. In the first innings, they were cruising to a big total but they threw the advantage away as they collapsed to 287 after being 216/3 at one stage. Again, they let off India in the next innings as Kohli piled up 92 run-stand for the last two wickets. Besides, they have had few dropped catches that allowed India to bounce back in the match.
Virat Kohli and bowlers’ form
Only two things clicked for India in the first Test — Virat Kohli’s batting and Indian bowlers’ accuracy and form. Kohli scored 200 runs out of total 436 runs India scored in the first Test. Indian bowlers picked up 20 wickets and kept India in the hunt. It bodes well for the remaining Tests and they must continue the good work done so far. Kohli would need to keep scoring runs to bail a vulnerable batting line-up.
Barring Kohli, all batsmen struggling and dubious captaincy
Except Indian skipper, all other batsmen struggled on Birmingham pitch. None of them scored a 30 even as Kohli scored an aggregate of 200 runs. All of them should learn from Kohli’s slight adjustment technique to counter the moving ball. Besides, Kohli succeeded as a batsman but floundered as a captain. The decision to omit C Pujara backfired while the failure to wrap up England second innings early cost India the match. Ashwin stayed away from attack when Curran was batting and that was a big blunder.
Prediction: India batsmen need to produce a better show in the second Test to give a tough fight to England. Joe Root and his men would start confident thanks to their win in first Test. However, Lord’s has been a good hunting ground for India. They won a Test here in 2014 under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. We expect Kohli and Co. to give a good performance in the second Test. Our vote goes to India.
Possible winner: India