The last time England beat an Asian team at the home of cricket was India in 2011 and since then they have lost three and drawn two Tests with Asian teams at Lord's. India’s last Test at the venue holds special memories and the team will try to bank on the same to repeat the miracle once again.
Murali Vijay: For someone, who was vastly successful on India’s 2014 tour to England, Murali Vijay was a serious underperformer in the first Test. His defense was lackadaisical and apart from the first few overs in both the games, he was not convincing in his off-stump
KL Rahul: This is a tricky choice, but I had to bring Rahul into the opening slot instead of Shikhar Dhawan due to the fact that the latter looked out of sorts in the Edgbaston Test. Dhawan’s unpredictable nature sometimes gives him the brownie point, but it is a fact to be noted that Rahul has been given very lesser chances at his favorable slot. It is the likeliest of changes in order to bring in Cheteshwar Pujara.
Cheteshwar Pujara: If one asks why would India include Pujara, who averaged only 14.33 in the last county stint, the valid counter is exactly the same. He has the experience of playing more number of matches than any member of the Indian side and sometimes, that is a good metrics to measure the worth of any player. If Pujara can stick around and play around 120-130 balls to score a fifty, a lot of burdens will be eased out from Virat Kohli’s shoulder.
Virat Kohli (C): The Indian skipper silenced the critics once and for all in his own inimitable style by scoring 200 runs alone while the rest of the 10 men managed only 214 runs. He may not have started in his own flamboyant style, but with struggle, he left a template for the world how to bat with lower order batsmen. It was an innings of persistence and toil, and at the same time, of high skill and determination.
Ajinkya Rahane: In this overseas cycle, Rahane has played just two Tests and scored a crucial 48 in Johannesburg. However, his average of 10.72 in seven Tests in the last 12 months has become the talking point recently and Rahane must have been annoyed by this. However, he comes to Lord’s with happy memories of 2014 tour where his century on a green seamer set-up India’s historic win.
Dinesh Karthik (wk): Whenever an opportunity candy comes along, grab it just like it could never leave you. But, I guess, the boy from Chennai needs a lesson or two to understand this basic principle of life. Coming into the team to fill in Wriddhiman Saha’s shoes, Karthik was a sheer disappointment in the first Test. With Rishabh Pant warming the bench, it is a do-or-die match for the man, who played a big role in India winning the 2007 series in England.
Hardik Pandya: While the heat is against him, Pandya is still supposed to be in the team. He was India's second-highest run-getter at Edgbaston, but his batting lacked any sort of conviction and his brainless batting in the second innings could be blamed for India’s loss. He bowled only 10 overs in the first innings and did not bowl in the second at all, but Kohli’s propensity to stick to the X-factor may leave Pandya from potential ousting.
R Ashwin: The Lord's pitch has a faint green grass across the length, but the heatwave in the last few days meant Ashwin would have another atmosphere to suit his skill. Considering England are slated to field as many as six left-handed batsmen, the Indian
Mohammed Shami: The way Shami started the first innings and supported Ishant Sharma on the other end, it was a sight to behold. He has the ability to hit the length hard and at the same time, extract swing as well, which makes him an asset in the team.
Ishant Sharma: After Ashwin’s magic, Kohli allowed Ishant to go all-out in his approach from the get-go and the pacer vindicated that hope. When he came round the wicket, that made it easier for him to use that normal outswinger to perfection against the left-hand batsmen, which created an awkward angle due to his front-on action. He would be excited to unleash them once again at Lord’s today.
Umesh Yadav:Jasprit Bumrah is not going to play in the second Test at Lord's, which somehow saved Umesh’s place in the team. He was highly erratic in the first Test, a pale shadow of Umesh of India’s marathon home Test season. Unless and until he pulls up his socks, India is again going to face the same problems of losing the momentum mid-way.
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