England vs India: Second Test preview

After escaping with a rain-affected draw from the first Test of the series against India, England's selectors look set to make a number of changes to the Three Lions line-up as they prepare for the beginning of the second Test at Lords on Thursday. 

Due to both injury and lack of form, captain Joe Root looks likely to bring in several fresh faces to the starting eleven with a host of new players having been brought into the squad since the opening Test in Nottingham. 

Virat Kohli's India, on the other hand, can come into the game with confidence after running England close over four days at Trent Bridge and only being denied the chance of victory by the midlands weather on the final day.  

The tourist's, however, do come into the encounter at the home of cricket with their own injury worries and selection dilemma's to contend with. 

  • Broad out and Anderson a doubt as England face quick bowling crisis 

With Stuart Broad, 35, ruled out of the remainder of the series as a result of a calf tear and James Anderson, 39, unlikely to feature at Lords because of niggle in his quad, Root looks set to name the first England Test eleven without either of the veteran bowlers since 2012. 

The seamers, with over a 1000 Test wickets between them, will be hugely difficult to replace with Anderson especially a major miss after looking at his clinical best during the first game, most notably dismissing Chestwar Pujara and Kohli in consecutive deliveries during the first innings. 

Young fast-bowler Saqib Mahmood has been taken out of The Hundred and called up as cover, however, leaving England with the pace options of Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Craig Overton and of course Mahmood, Chris Woakes, though, remains a doubt after missing out in Nottingham. 

The England selectors will also have a selection decision at the top of the order after another dismal display with the bat during the first Test in which the top three contributed just 97 runs across both innings and heaping even more pressure on an already fragile top three

As a result in-form batsman Haseeb Hameed, who hit a century opening the batting against India in a tour game just three-weeks ago, looks set to come in with it being a toss up between Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley as to who is to miss out. 

23-year-old Batter Ollie Pope is also in contention to return to the home teams eleven in place of Dan Lawrence, who looked out of sorts against the Indian quicks in the first Test, with the Surrey man to slot into the middle-order of the batting card. 

The biggest story for England, however, has been the recall of spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali who has been one of the stand out players in this summers Hundred competition with the 34-year-old being brought in to better balance the side and provide a spinning option at Lords. 

Predicted England XI: Burns, Sibley, Hameed, Root (C), Bairstow, Buttler (WK), Ali, S Curran, Robinson, Overton, Wood

  • India look to build on first Test positives but face selection questions 

Indian fans can without doubt count their side unlucky to have not come away with a victory from the series opener after they required just 157 runs with nine wickets in hand to win on day five before the rain intervened. 

Despite the final day frustration captain Kohli can take a whole host of positives away from Trent Bridge, including the return to form of quick bowler Jasprit Bumrah who took nine wickets in the match and the performance of replacement opener K.L Rahul after he hit a valuable 84 in the Indian first innings. 

The biggest question for Kohli, though, will be whether he chooses to recall the worlds number two ranked bowler Ravichandran Ashwin to the starting line-up after he was only picked to carry the drinks in the first game. 

India elected to go with the more all round option of Ravi Jadeja in Nottingham as their spinning option but, with an injury to Shardul Thakur and a lack of another genuine all-round options in the squad a return for the experienced Ashwin may well be on the cards. 

Opener Mayank Agarwal is also back in contention for the tourists after recovering from a concussion he sustained in training two-weeks ago, though, the strong form of Rahul at the top of the order makes it seem likely he will be walking out with Rohit Sharma at Lords.  

India predicted eleven XI: R Sharma, Rahul, Pujara, Kohli (C), Rahane, Pant (WK), Jadeja, Ashwin, Bumrah, Siraj, Shami 

  • Ones to watch 

Joe Root (England)

After scoring a stunning 109 in the second innings of the first Test, as well as a 64 in the first, England captain Root silenced any doubts around his form as cemented himself as unquestionably the Three Lions best batsman. 

Root looked began to his elegant best in his 284 minute, match-saving innings - and showed parts of his game that have rarely been seen since the Yorkshireman became captain back in 2017. 

The pressure on the 30-year-old to deliver has likely never been higher, however, with the lack of runs coming from his teammates. 

If England are to have any chance of achieving victory at Lords then at least one more big innings from Root will without doubt be required. 

Jasprit Bumrah (India)

Before the beginning of the series their were some major concerns over the form of paceman Bumrah. 

The 27-year-old averages just 22.14 with the ball in Test cricket but their were worries after a poor performance in the World Test Championship final back in June backed up a disappointing winter. 

Bumrah completely silenced his critics at Trent Bridge however, taking sublime match-figures of 9-110 and causing total chaos among the English batters. 

And now with the series moving to the traditionally seam friendly wickets of the home of cricket, Bumrah may well be causing carnage again over the next week. 

  • How to watch

The first day of the Test will begin Thursday 12th of August at Lords, London at 11am. 

The game may last up until the 16th of August. 

Television coverage of the match in the UK will be shown each day on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event, with coverage beginning every day at 10.30am. 

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