India capable of leveling Test series against England at Lord’s
August 06, 2018
England’s 1,000th Test Match saw them just edge out India by 31 runs to win a thrilling game that ebbed and flowed at Edgbaston in the 1st Test. The action now moves to London and Lord’s with the 2nd Test starting on Thursday.
The result of the 2nd Test is likely to have a significant bearing on the remainder of the series, with India desperate to get back on level terms in the series at Lord’s, while England will be looking to give themselves the cushion of a 2-0 lead from which they would expect to dominate proceedings thereafter.
The weather is seemingly set to be fair, although the temperatures shouldn’t be as high as for the 1st Test. The big news from England’s perspective is that all-rounder Ben Stokes has been left out of the squad because his affray trial starts in Bristol on Monday, three days before the Test. His absence is a significant blow for English hopes and although Chris Woakes is an able enough deputy, young Sam Curran is the man whom captain Joe Root is likely to look to for Stokes-esque fireworks after his man-of-the-match performance at Edgbaston.
Elsewhere, uncapped 20 year-old Surrey batsman Ollie Pope has been called up in place of Dawid Malan, who struggled with the bat and in the field at Edgbaston.
India will need their batsmen to improve dramatically on their 1st Test performance where, captain Virat Kohli aside, they underperformed woefully. There is definitely a case for Cheteshwar Pujara, who was dropped from the 1st Test, to be recalled to the side. Jasprit Bumrah is expected to be fit for Lord’s and he could replace Umesh Yadav in the bowling attack, while Ravindra Jadeja could come in for all-rounder Hardik Pandya to strengthen the batting line-up.
As ever in Test Match cricket, winning the toss will be a potentially key factor in determining the result, although India came decidedly close to taking the initiative in the series despite England winning the toss at Edgbaston.
With Stokes missing, India will have the great opportunity to level the series and can be backed to do so at 2/1 (3.00) with bet365.*
* Odds correct at the time of writing