Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

First day of second Test between England and India abandoned at Lord's

First day of second Test between England and India abandoned at Lord's

England, according to the leaked sheet was going to play Chris Woakes in Ben Stokes absence and Ollie Pope as expected was going to make his debut.

Stokes sent a message of good luck to England and debutant Pope on Instagram on Thursday morning.

However, India may be looking at bringing back Cheteshwar Pujara into the playing XI.

He had 134 runs from his previous 10 Test innings in England, but on this tour, he overhauled that mark with a 149-run knock in the first innings in Birmingham.

Another big decision the Indian think tank has to make is whether or not to play two spinners.

Virat Kohli has converted 13 of 20 Test 50s into 100s since the start of 2015; the best rate of any batsman to reach 50 more than once in that time (65%), although Joe Root has got to 50 11 times more than anyone else in the same timeframe (42), he has only managed to convert 19% of those into centuries.

This is not the first occasion when Arjun had bowled in Team India nets.

Mohammed Shami | Ishant Sharma | Umesh Yadav
Mohammed Shami | Ishant Sharma | Umesh Yadav

"There must be a clear plan on how to face the first 20-30 balls, and more often than not that plan does not involve aggression", said Kohli, who was extremely watchful against swing king James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, at Edgbaston.

"As long as we cross the line, that is the only thing that matters", Kohli insisted.

"Ollie will come in and bat at four". I do think that a result is still possible if the rain stays away - and that's a big if.

Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who enjoyed an impressive run in the one-day series last month, and experienced allrounder Ravindra Jadeja are in contention for a spot in the final line-up.

Yet this season has seen Pope make 684 runs for Championship leaders Surrey at an average of 85.5, including three centuries.

Ganguly, India's second most successful captain in Tests jointly with Virat Kohli at the moment, wrote in a column for the Times of India that India should seriously consider the option of fielding a second spinner at the iconic venue and also backed the chinaman ahead of the senior left-arm spinner.

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the second Test as he has not fully recovered from a left thumb injury, bowling coach Bharat Arun confirmed on Tuesday.

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