Preview: England vs India, 2nd Test


Plenty to Ponder for Both Teams Ahead of Lord’s


July 17 to 21, 2014 


Lord’s, London 

The Teams


Not every time do you see an Indian batting line-up bat for more than a hundred overs overseas in both innings. On a dry and placid Trent Bridge wicket, the bowlers bent their backs, while the batsmen made merry. Namely, three players were the highlight for India in the first Test. Murali Vijay batted like he belonged in whites and looked hungry for big scores every time he walked out to bat. With the ball, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma bowled their hearts out to make use of whatever purchase they could get off the wicket; Bhuvi though excelled with the bat as well with half centuries in both innings. 

Both captains have asked for ‘livelier’ pitches in the games to follow and the team selection before the 2nd Test at Lord’s would depend on the wicket on offer. There has been much talk about Ravindra Jadeja failing with the ball and not being able to utilize the ‘rough’ to good effect. Will the Indian captain think of a possible switch between Jadeja and a specialist spinner in R Ashwin who is more than a handy bat? Or is there a chance of both players being featured in the eleven, which would mean leaving out Stuart Binny who saved the first Test with a handy 78. If Lord’s offers a wicket suitable for seamers, Binny might retain his place in the squad, and India could just field an unchanged squad on Thursday. 


India batted twice at Trent Bridge, which meant more workload for the England bowlers. A point of concern for England in the bowling department would be the form of Moeen Ali. The off-spinner did pick four wickets in the first Test, but was dealt with severity by the Indian batsmen. England have made an interesting inclusion to their squad in the form of 25-year old Simon Kerrigan. The left-arm orthodox has received a lot of flak for his credibility as a spinner in the side, especially after a horrific Ashes debut last year. Will England include Kerrigan in the side or will England stick to Moeen Ali at Lord’s? There is a question mark over Alastair Cook’s form as well and the England captain would want to let his bat do the talking before more fingers are pointed out at him. 

Key Players 


Virat Kohli had single digit scores in both the innings at Trent Bridge. It has not been the best of starts for his maiden tour of England and the No.4 bat would want to get into his groove before it is too late. Kohli had mentioned his hunger for runs overseas earlier, and he does understand the importance of this tour. The stage doesn’t get bigger and better than this for Kohli. England and Lord’s are reason enough for Virat to put up his best foot forward for the team. 


Ian Bell batted just once in the first Test and got a score of 25 against his name. Off those 25 runs, 24 of them came in boundaries before he was out caught behind by MS Dhoni playing a dab to Ishant Sharma. He last played a Test at Lord’s against Sri Lanka and got a half century in that Test. Bell does have a liking towards India having recorded his highest score in Tests against them. When he walks out to bat at Lord’s, England would want all of Bell’s experience on display to take their side to a considerable advantage. If Bell gets going, he sure would have rung a few alarm bells in the Indian camp. 



India: M.S. Dhoni (C & WK), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron, Wriddhiman Saha, Pankaj Singh.

England (2nd Test): Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Simon Kerrigan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior (WK), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here