London: The opening day of the second Test match between England and India at Lord's Cricket Ground here was called off on Thursday after continuous rain and drizzle.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 9, 2018
Even the toss did not happen on Thursday, and the washout meant that only four days were left to play in the second match.
India were coming to the match after a 31-run defeat to the hosts in the first Test at Birmingham. If England win this match, that will be for the first time in seven years they would have beaten an Asian team at Lord's.
India came close to winning the first Test but squandered a great opportunity to take the 1-0 lead in the five-match series, courtesy the mediocre batting, apart from Virat Kohli’s super show with the bat. Hence, the work will be cut out for Team India – to win the second Test and level the series – as the match kicks off at Lord’s here on Thursday.
The possible chopping and changing in the batting line-up and temptation of playing two spinners have been the talking points ahead in the build-up of the Test, with the calls of picking Cheteshwar Pujara and dropping Shikhar Dhawan and fielding either of Kuldeep Yadav or Ravindra Jadeja in place of either Umesh Yadav or Hardik Pandya doing the rounds. While Kohli will have a few things to sort out in terms of selection, no matter who takes field, India will have to make sure not to dismantle England when they are on the mat like in Birmingham in the first Test.
Joe Root and co, meanwhile, will be out to up their game and take 2-0 lead in the series. While the hosts are going to miss Ben Stokes, who won’t feature in the Test due to the hearing of his court case, the replacement – either Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali – has to put up his hand up and deliver the goods.
The other area which England, like India, will have to improve is their batting and slip fielding. Barring Joe Root, Sam Curran and Jonny Bairstow, England struggled with the bat in the opening Test and if taking 2-0 lead is their aim, the others must score big.
However, it won’t be a walk in the park as the recent heatwave in England may turn Lord’s into spinners’ best friend – a situation which is likely to benefit India more than England even as the Indian pacers – Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami – putting in some fine performances in the first Test.
England: Joe Root (Captain), Moen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Lokesh Rahul, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav
The match is scheduled to start at 3.30 P.M. IST.
The live streaming of the match will be available on Sony Liv app.
The live telecast of the match will be available on Sony Six, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 3 HD....