Virat Kohli questions mentality of Indian top order

Thursday, 09 Aug, 2018

England, on the other hand, will be without their star all-rounder Ben Stokes and batsman Dawid Malan.

Kohli made his first Test hundred in England in Birmingham last week and added a half-century in the second innings, but lacked support from his fellow batsmen. Root will wait until toss to decide whether to play a second spinner (Moeen Ali) or an extra pacer (Chris Woakes).

In this summer's opening scene, when England won the knife-edge match at Edgbaston, India's batting was a one-man show.

Meanwhile, Root has defended England's decision to thrust 20-year-old debutant Ollie Pope straight into the No 4 position in place of the axed Malan, despite batting lower down the order for his county.

With Jasprit Bumrah ruled out, India are expected to retain the pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami.

India could also go into the Test with two spinners, with Kuldeep Yadav likely to get the nod to team up with Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of Ravindra Jadeja.

Other former India internationals to ring the bell at a Lord's Test are Sunil Gavaskar, The Nawab of Pataudi Jr, Dilip Vengsarkar, Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly.

Pope, who is just 20, will slot in at number four for England, as a direct replacement for Dawid Malan, despite not batting there for his county Surrey - a decision that has anxious some, but not Root. It is dry and hot out there and India's spinners will come into play as the game progresses.

'He has reached a 1000 first class runs in just 15 matches and is the first division's stand-out batsman this season with 684 runs at 85. "Opposition players are allowed to play well and they definitely did that at Edgbaston, so it's just about combatting that as a team and making sure that when we get our opportunities to go big, someone takes the game by the scruff of the neck".

"It's a good choice, a tough one too", Bharat Arun, India's bowling coach, told reporters at Lord's.

But Arun said Jasprit Bumrah was "out of contention", the paceman still sidelined after missing the first Test with the broken thumb he suffered during a Twenty20 global against Ireland in June.

Kohli & Root- The two skippers are going to be the most important batsmen and even in fantasy cricket, they need to fit in all teams.

Therefore, Gambhir feels that this is India's best opportunity to win a Test in England and if they don't, it will be very hard to make a comeback in the series as it will get colder and conditions will change.

"The conditions were trying". His form in the first Test proves him to be vital in the playing XI.