India captain Virat Kohli believes his team are close to beating England as they prepare for the second Test of the five-match series at Lord's. Batsman bat well they can get runs, seamers are going to be in play with the Dukes ball in overcast conditions and when the wicket wears off, the spinners can come into play. India lost the first Test against England by 31 runs with only skipper Kohli crossing the 50 run mark in both innings. India take on hosts in the second Test at Lord's beginning Thursday.
Well, bowling coach Bharat Arun hinted the visitors may not opt for an extra batsman and called it a "conservative move". Looking back on people like Sachin Tendulkar, he was 16 or 17 (when he debuted for India). "I think it's the fearlessness", Pope said.
We feel Shikhar Dhawan too could make way for C Pujara, who was surprisingly left out in the first Test. A lot has been spoken about the need for Kohli to trust his batsmen but history suggests the Indian captain may not be averse to chopping and changing once again. London had experienced heat waves and thus dry wickets were expected at Lord's.
Pope's inclusion is being seen as a ploy to counter Indian off-spinner R Ashwin, as the youngster - a right-hander - is considered a good player of spin.
With Jasprit Bumrah ruled out, India are expected to retain the pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Shami.
With Ben Stokes unavailable because of his court case, either Moeen Ali or Chris Woakes will take his place in the side and bat at No 7.More news: United Kingdom 'ready to ask Russian Federation to extradite suspects in Novichok poisoning'
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Captain Root confirmed in Wednesday's media interaction that 20-year-old Ollie Pope will be handed his maiden Test cap tomorrow.
'In the first innings, to create two half-chances and two clear chances was testament to how we've got good plans against him and found a way to potentially get him out.
"It doesn't matter whether I get (over) the line or Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) does or (Murali) Vijay does or KL (Rahul) does or whoever does".
As stated before, there will be clouds hanging over the Lord's Cricket Ground over the next few days as the temperatures have dropped following the heat wave that swept the city earlier this week.