With the first test being a washout on the deciding day 5 and with India taking the honors, all eyes are now set on how the second test pans out. Both the sides, however, will be looking to strengthen their batting! With Kohli, Jinx, and Pujara failing to score big India’s batting are bound to struggle. And with the English top 3 failing on multiple occasions, a big score for the English is not coming any time soon. So, what are the latest updates and expectations from the second test at Lords? Here’s a look: –
Ishant or Ashwin to replace injured Shardul: –
Shardul Thakur in the first game suffered a myofascial strain on the left hamstring. Virat Kohli has one job on his hand before going into the second test: finding an appropriate replacement for injured Shardul Thakur. Veterans Ishant Sharma and Ravi Ashwin, both are the prime contenders for this spot. With Ashwin and his batting capabilities, his case becomes a bit stronger. Lords too favor the spinners and with limited rain predicted over the next few days spin is bound to come into play! But one can never ignore the fact that with lower-order contributing with the bat and with Virat liking the “4 pacers 1 spinner” template, Ishant stands a fair chance!
Stuart Broad ruled out of the series: –
Similar to Shardul, England too, has Stuart Broad, who has been ruled out! The reason that has been stated is that Broad has had a right calf tear! But England will be able to successfully replace Stuart Broad with Mark Wood or most probably Moeen Ali. Moeen Ali is definitely going to make it to the 11 with England dropping one of their batsmen. Dan Lawrence or any one of the top 3 might be sacrificed to make a place for Ali. Mark Wood on the other hand will replace Broad. Wood has a lot to offer with the bat as well.
Concern over Jimmy’s fitness: –
England after the first test have had their fair share of injury woes. After Stuart Broad getting ruled out, Jimmy Anderson’s fitness is also questionable. The concern is due to the stiffness of the quadricep of the legend. With the kind of form Jimmy showed in the first game, this seems to be one of England’s biggest losses. But thanks to their bench strength, “Saqib Mahmood” will be replacing Anderson in that case.
The probable playing eleven are as follows: –
Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root (C), Johnny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, James Anderson/ Saqib Mahmood.