The Indian cricket team is all set to take on England in the second Test at Lord's where they will look to bounce back in the five-match series after losing the first Test in Birmingham by 31 runs. The last time when India played at the iconic Lord's was in 2014 under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the team defeated the hosts by 95 runs. However, the Indian team ended up losing the five-Test series 3-1.
This time around, the Indian batsmen are going through a rough patch except skipper Virat Kohli. The flop show in the first Test from big players is a tense situation for the team management.
Exclusive | Ganguly, Sehwag feel Lord’s Test is India’s best chance to make comeback against England
In the second Test, Kohli and the management will have to take some tough decisions ahead in the series. The exclusion of Cheteshwar Pujara from the first Test was very highly criticised by the fans and former cricketers. He is the one who might get his place back at Lord's but the question is who will sit out? A similar question was raised in the same Test when India opted to play with only one spinner and left out Ravinder Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
Here are the changes that are expected in the second Test match at the iconic Lord's:
1. Cheteshwar Pujara in, Shikhar Dhawan/KL Rahul out
Pujara is expected to make his return to the playing XI after being dropped in the opening Test. It will be interesting to see who Pujara replaces in the line-up. Whether it will be KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan. Both the batsmen disappointed everyone in the first Test. Dhawan dropped crucial catches at slip and was a flop show with bat too. While on the other side, Rahul who replaced Pujara in the match, easily gave his wicket away with poor shot selection in both innings. According to reports, Lord's pitch is different from the Edgbaston one and will be more batting friendly. So, it will be a big task for the management to choose between Dhawan and Rahul.
2. Ravindra Jadeja in, Hardik Pandya out
Pandya's inclusion in the Test squad has always raised many eyebrows and in the first Test, he was preferred over more experienced Jadeja. Left-arm off-spinner Jadeja is ranked No.3 in the Test bowling rankings but is still struggling to find his spot in playing XI. Meanwhile, all-rounder Pandya had a bad match with both bat and bowl at Edgbaston and faced criticism for not taking more responsibility in the second innings. Last time when India beat England at the Lord's, Jadeja played a crucial role in the iconic victory. It will be interesting to see who will be selected for the Lord's Test.