England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's

Series crying out for more than off-field drama

The Preview by David Hopps

July 16, 2014

Comments: 111 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Thursday, July 17, Lord's
Start time 1100 (1000 GMT)

'Crucial to bat first at Lord's'

Big Picture

England have endured three footslogging Tests this summer against Sri Lanka and India on unresponsive pitches. Something was bound to give - if not the interest of the crowds then the patience of the players. So it is perhaps understandable to some degree that the build-up to the Lord's Test has been dominated by allegations of an unseemly spat between James Anderson and Ravindra Jadeja in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge. Tempers were frayed, the sledging no doubt ripe. Welcome it or not, it will add additional edge to the series.

Whatever conclusion the ICC draws, the series is crying out for more than off-field drama. England's sense of well being will only be lifted by pitches less subcontinental in nature. To suspect vestiges of colonial arrogance in those who complain they do not want to see Indian-type pitches in England is to miss the point. England cricket watchers want conditions that suit their Test traditions and, indeed, their landscape: surfaces with a bit of life, occasionally periods of swing, seam and eventually spin. Patience might well be a virtue but it is not patience that has kept Test cricket in England alive, but activity.

To contest the entire series on surfaces discouraging for pace bowlers would be to play into India's hands, especially as England have no specialist spinner of ready-made Test standard. The call up of Simon Kerrigan to the squad for the first time since his nerve-ridden debut at The Oval last season does not change that. Kerrigan is the leading English-qualified wicket-taker in Division One of the Championship, but it is a thin field.

India's unsuccessful run of away Tests since their last victory, against West Indies in Kingston in June 2011, now stretches to 15. Any continued absence of R Ashwin would delight England no matter what surface they play on; it does not require too many subtle variations for spinners to receive the "mystery" accolade as England agonise over the eventual successor to Graeme Swann.

Form guide

England: DLDLL
India: DDLLD

Players to watch

Ian Bell has not adapted happily to his role of England's most treasured batsman since Kevin Pietersen found himself forced into exile. Bell is now perceived as England's chief entertainer, but for all those deft back-foot cuts, his form since the end of England's victorious Ashes series is mediocre. It all suggests that England's new order is not resting entirely easily with him. Suggestions that he should bat at No 3 were resisted, but life at No 4 is beginning to look a little insouciant. England need a response - and quickly.

Two Sri Lankans have already got their name on the Lord's honours board this summer - Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews - and both celebrated in a manner that suggested this tradition really does matter to the players. Virat Kohli, as would any world-class batsman, must share ambitions to be present there. This is his first Test at Lord's and everybody expects him to combust sooner or later. We await to see if he can produce an innings to grace the summer.

Team news

Rotation has been a word much in vogue for England since the national selector, James Whitaker, hinted that five Tests in 42 days might entail that England use all six pace bowlers at some point during the series. But when and who? Anderson's ICC charge has clouded the picture and nobody wants to be rotated out of a game at Lord's. It would be no surprise if Kerrigan's place in the squad as a specialist spinner was to appease Alastair Cook, such has been his limited faith in Moeen Ali, but to play him would be a high risk.

England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Sam Robson, 3 Gary Ballance, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Joe Root, 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Matt Prior, 8 Ben Stokes, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 James Anderson.

Keen students of India's net session saw enough to convince them that Stuart Binny would retain his place ahead of Ashwin. Binny made runs at Trent Bridge, but that did not remove the feeling that Ashwin would have been an infinitely better bowling option. Ashwin could theoretically replace Jadeja as well - though India are hardly likely to drop an individual they are presenting as wronged, in the form of Anderson's alleged physical threat, at Trent Bridge. Unchanged seems likely.

India (probable) 1 M Vijay, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 MS Dhoni, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Stuart Binny, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Mohammed Shami.

Pitch and conditions

Mick Hunt, the Lord's groundsman, has a bottomless independent spirit and he will not be influenced by the debate about pitches going on around him. The considerable amount of green left in the surface two days out was probably a joke dreamed up in a local hostelry. But he will not have been happy about the lack of carry in the Lord's surface against Sri Lanka last month and he will not want a return to the run of six Test draws between 2006-08.

The forecast is for warm temperatures, as high as 29C on Friday, slight risk of thundery showers over the weekend, but it generally looks like the summer has come to St John's Wood.

Stats and trivia

  • Ian Bell's average in the last 17 Test innings without Pietersen in the side is 28. However, he enjoys batting at Lord's, where he averages 57.

  • England's winless run now extends to nine Tests since their victory against Australia at Chester-le-Street last August, their worst run since 1992-93.

  • Mick Hunt, the Lord's groundsman, or "head of grass" as he sometimes puts it, extended his range of expertise beyond cricket last winter when he visited a school in Donaghmore, Northern Ireland, to advise on the state of their muddy gaelic football pitches.

    For more stats on Lord's, click here.

Quotes

"It is probably a little bit of a tactic by India. We are surprised it is a Level 3 incident after hearing both sides of it. Both MS and I have responsibilities as captains of the sides to make sure [a deterioration in relationships] does not happen. We have a responsibility to people watching the game."
England captain Alastair Cook on the Anderson-Jadeja issue

"In cricket you won't hear me ever say something like that. It's a difficult sport. People talk a lot about form, but you can be in bad form and regain it in 10 minutes. We have our own process, we have our own plans. What is important is for us to execute those plans."
MS Dhoni, on whether India feel they can get Cook out early again

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

@Derek Hebbert, you are probably right!

Hope Plunkett pitches the ball up today and uses the short ball more as a surprise, this I think would be his best tactic, he actually gives me some hope.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 17, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

AitheySavandi_MeeKharma : After the Sydney Test the aussies lost complete interest and didn't turn up to play. They would rather have walked to Bourke and back on broken glass that be there in Perth.

Posted by naveen_next on (July 17, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

India should play with same team in this test match too..,last chance fr Dhawan & jadeja to prove themselves..else both should b replaced with Gambhir & Ashwin fr 3rd test...i feel, Dhoni should groom Binny & has to put faith in him...he wil become a quality allrounder...

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

@ Jono Makim - If the England slips and keeper could hold onto the occasional catch I have no doubt that Stuart Broads average would be well below 30!

Posted by Surajrises on (July 17, 2014, 8:47 GMT)

Lords + Green Pitch + Anderson + Broad - Dravid - Tendulkar - Laxman - Dada (c) = Indian Team Is Losing This Test Match...

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 8:44 GMT)

Chances seem to be running out for Gautam Gambhir. He is already around 33 and if he doesn't come back now, his international career looks all but over.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

Let us all not get carried away with Stuart Binny's batting performance. Although he batted well, let us also remember it was a pitch on which James Anderson scored 80 odd comfortably. If Root had not refused all those singles, Anderson might well have got 200!!! It was a pitch on which even Mohd Shami batted comfortably for his 50 in the first innings. Bhuvi too is not an accomplished test player remember. He got two fifties. Moreover, even though it was a debut test match for Binny, he is already a veteran at first class level. It was his experience and temperament that helped him play the innings along with his skills. However, his batting skills are yet to be tested in difficult swing, seam and pacy conditions.

Posted by deepmankar on (July 17, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

@gautham sukumaran Binny is doing good but you are asking to replace rahane who has resisted SA attack and performed well against england in ODI last time ? Rahane is one of the best one

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

@Landl47, I'm not sure England's seam bowling is spectacularly better than that of the Indians, they may be edging it but if they are slightly off, as they seem to be at the moment, then the Indian attack is their equal in my book. Two years ago there was an article on here about all of England's bowlers averaging less than 30. Now there are no bowlers averaging less than 30. This fact seems to have escaped most people in England.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 17, 2014, 8:33 GMT)

@Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Lover on (July 17, 2014, 4:14 GMT) Sounds very knee jerk there. For me Kholi is the future of Indian cricket and the next captain and if he finds his form can hurt a side much more than Gambhir

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

@RU4 Real Nick... I don't think anyone is criticising Bell that isn't also after Prior and Cook, that the latter aren't making runs doesn't excuse the former from also not making runs, it is Bell's ONLY duty in the team after all, one might say, given that fact, that he more than anyone should be standing tall with the bat. If it weren't for his solely carrying England through the Ashes on home soil then he'd be on the edge. England are fortunate though in the fact that the youngsters are doing so well, but perhaps that will simply encourage the selectors to have a look at the likes of Taylor, Lyth and others. The seniors are on notice.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

@Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Lover on (July 17, 2014, 4:14 GMT): You said:

"...Kohli is out of form. Please replace him with Gambhir. .."

I agree. He is out of form for some time in India too. Even in the latest IPL, his performance was abysmal. Even though, he is one of our bests for the future, for every match we should take players in form.

Jadeja also seem to be out of form, for batting, and a replacement may be considered.

Dhawan, sense of responsibility is coming under question mark. So, we may have to replace Dhawan, Kohli & Jadeja. Who are the best replacements? We sitting here in India can't say for sure. The tour selectors have to decide that, based on the current assessment of all the players at their disposal.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

There is no logic in talking about Virat here. He is the one should be there than anyone. Even his presence is a great asset for India in this tour. Yes he failed in 1st test. Thats ok. He is a quick learner and will come back strongly in this match. People are being so judgemental within a game. There has been a series of bad performances from Dhoni (in tests), Dhawan, Ishant & Shami than this guy. And hardly i can see that no one is talking about Vijay. Even if Vijay didn't scored well in 1st match then most of them would have trashed him at first.

Posted by rhome on (July 17, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

Dhoni should think about the best team balance to "WIN" test match, which means, we need to take 20 wickets "SUPPORTED"by batsmen with sufficient runs. Dhoni unfortunately thinks the other way round. He has six batsmen in the lineup (including him) one spinner (Jadeja / Ashwin) who can bat and Bhuvi who could support the batsmen. Additionally Dhoni wants "ANOTHER" batsman, who could bowl "A BIT". I find this ridiculous. He should go in for a genuine bowler. Aaron is the best bet as he could bring in the "PACE" which India lacks at the moment. Pace is always helpful on any sort of wicket. Aaron, Bhuvi, Shami & Ishanth will have all the ingredients of a good attack. But I know that until Dhoni is at the helm, this might never happen. He will prefer batsmen upto No.11 and thinks that 3 pacers could take the 100 overs workload in all tests.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 7:47 GMT)

gambhir,vijay,pujara,kohli,rohit,dhoni,binny,ashwin,ishant,bhuvi,shami

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 17, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

For me, the most interesting aspect of the game will be seeing how Kerrigan goes -- assuming that he is selected. It could prove a master-stroke if he allows the pacemen to rotate; ties up an end and doesn't go for more than 3.5 rpo. At which point, I will comment hereabouts that I have been completely wrong in continually criticising his selection. Wickets for SK would be a bonus; I am neither expecting nor demanding that. If, on the other hand, he proves to be an absolute liability, I would expect a selector to publicly admit that the selectors had got it wrong. Of course, he has to play with a heatwave forecast... For SK not to play under those likely conditions would be as good as the selectors saying that thay had got it wrong before the match begins, wouldn't it?

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 7:27 GMT)

@Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Lover: wat!!! gambir is better choice for kohli..... lol!!! kohli scored 359 in 14 matches with 27.61 average, whereas gambir scored 335 in 16 matches with 22.33 average.

Posted by cric_J on (July 17, 2014, 7:21 GMT)

Rumour has it the Lord's wicket will have a tinge of green left upon as opposed to Tent Bridge. That might assist the seamers for the 1st session. However, Lord's is nearly always a good batting wicket. It's a wicket where once you get in as a batsman you get full value for your shots. Add to this the weather forecast which is very warm and sunny for the 1st 3 days & this may well be tough work for the bowlers yet again.

I've always believed that in cricket, when you've got to make a choice b/w your strength & what the pitch/conditions might assist, always go for your strength. England' strength is seam bowling & IMO Kerrigan won't instil any more fear in the batsmen's mind than Moeen. So play an unchanged squad.

India on the other hand, must bring in Ashwin for Jadeja (very unlikely to happen though). Despite all of his recent poor form overseas, fact is Ashwin is a better test player than Jadeja. He's a better spinner on most days & I dare say a better test batsman too.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 7:16 GMT)

With Binny showing some talent for batting and also some measure of temperament in 2nd innings, is it too brave to replace Rahane with Binny???. We can also bring in Gambhir at no. 3 and strengthen the batting. My eleven for Lords: Vijay, Dhawan, Gambhir, Pujara, Kohli, Dhoni, Binny, Jadeja, Ashwin, Bhuvi and Shami/Aaron. With the second half of the batting order we can now expect to add at least 80 - 100 runs. We should have enough confidence on our top half to get a minimum of 300+ runs.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 17, 2014, 7:09 GMT)

@Jono Makim. Agree with you about not having a spinner. And Stokes as one of your main 4 bowlers will see them struggle to take 20 wickets. He is a much better batsman than #8 as well. Kerrigan has to be given a go, England need to see if he has the bottle to bounce back at this level. As with you, I really hope the pitch is infinitely better than the last one presented.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 6:27 GMT)

@Steve Patterson: Let the game decide who is a better side...

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

Whatever happens, I really hope the pitch provides us with a good match.

Mark Butcher reckons Kerrigan has an ordinary action, I agree. Still, I want to see him play, sink or swim. He either succeeds or England can move onto their next option. Not having a spinner is not an option for England, they simply do not have the quicks to get away with it.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 17, 2014, 6:13 GMT)

Time for the senior English batsmen to step up. There's been a lack of runs from Cook first over a year. Bell hadn't scored since the home Ashes. Prior's batting and keeping was so bad for half a year that he got dropped, but because England are so unwilling to drop him he was reinstated immediately despite having injury worries and not doing much in county cricket. Since then in 3 tests he hasn't scored many runs (at least he scored a 50) and has dropped catches.

Keepers need to catch. A catch can change the momentum of matches. 1 wicket can bring 3 or 4. A drop can change the momentum in favour of the batsmen. Also tests are about taking 20 wickets. This is why you need a quality gloveman, be it Bates, Rouse, Foster, Read, whoever. Batting isn't mucus of an issue, especially on these pitches and with a side loaded with bowlers who can bat.

Timer for the seniors to step up. What saves them is that they are oldest favourites. Also they're the only viable captaincy options.

Posted by Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Lover on (July 17, 2014, 5:54 GMT)

@Vishwas Reddy, What I am saying is considering the current form Gambhir is obviously a better choice than Kohli. He scored lot of runs in IPL while Kohli failed.

Posted by Nash_AK on (July 17, 2014, 5:51 GMT)

I don't know - How can you justify R.Jadeja over Ashwin in a test match where Quality Spin Bowler (specialist) is required? Gambhir can also be given the chance in place of Dhawan as his form in last few test matches is not satisfactory. Lets see what happen?

Posted by AitheySavandi_MeeKharma on (July 17, 2014, 5:31 GMT)

Generally Indian team are called sleeping lions ....we all know what happened after they are poked in the sydney test.....england is going to have a hard time folks...

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 5:30 GMT)

I am sure that Dhoni will play the same team. Binny and Jadeja will be retained, though I am not a big fan of Ashwin I think he is a better wicker bowler than Jadeja especially when the wickets get dry. It was frustrating for the fans to see this stubborness now we have got used to it. Giving chances is a good idea but I think the same yardstick should apply to bowlers like Umesh and Aaron. Honestly looking at last 5-7 matches India need a fast bowler or a wrist spinner to take out the tailenders.

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

am I.the.only one.who.is thinking.jadeja should be played ahead.of dhoni and.not as a slogger with the tail enders... look at his batting position in ranaji, he plays at 4 or 5 and he.scored 3 triple.centuries that means even though he doesn't have batting technique, he has some.skill to occupy the crease and if he.does that he scores big ( 300 even on flat pitches are difficult) ..... for one seriea he.should play just after rahane followed by dhoni.... I am not a fanboy by the way....

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 5:22 GMT)

I would like to have gambir in place of dhawan and rest of the team to be same, if possible one extra fast bowler.like pankaj or varun at the expense of binny May be...pitch looks like an.outfield...

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

@Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Fan : think before you type something man... was kohli's. first century in India? was his test century against SA in India? was his century against kiwi in India???? just one game he failed and here we go...

Posted by CherryWood_Champion on (July 17, 2014, 4:47 GMT)

Binny did show his talent in Nottingam and fully deserves to be retained. But having said that I would trade horses for courses. If the pitch for the second match is same as Tent Bridge, I would bring in Varun Aaron at his expense. We need someone who can bowl 145+ on these pitches and do what Mitch did in the last ashes. Make him bowl short 4-over spells. Use lot of fast and furious bouncers. Jaddu looked at sea in his two brief innings and is woefully out of form.So I would bring back Ashwin into the team in his place. Dhawan deserves another chance and should seriously consider Gauthi if he fails at lords. My team for the next match will be. 1-Shikar, 2-Vijay, 3-Pujara, 4-Kohli, 5-Rahane, 6-Dhoni, 7-Ashwin, 8-Bhuvi, 9-Shami, 10-Ishant, 11-Varun Aaron

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 4:46 GMT)

India have poked the sleeping Lion and should be ready to get bitten. As their record suggests they are an ordinary side and this test will prove it. Come on England!!!

Posted by NaaIstam on (July 17, 2014, 4:35 GMT)

I still don't see any reason why Kohli would not suit as an Opener.Take the case of Matthew Hayden, Graeme Smith, Mark Taylor. Since it doesn't seem that India is going to bring in Sehwag and high inconsistency of Dhawan and Rohit, we need to have an able batsmen who can shift gears as per the match situation for sure. Else, we are not going to see any opening stand above 50, If someone gets lucky, upto 150 in off situations.

Posted by garysam123 on (July 17, 2014, 4:18 GMT)

You can axe a batsman like dhawan or rahane than Jadeja and Binny who are allrounders who had saved the first test match.

Posted by Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Lover on (July 17, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

Kohli is out of form. Please replace him with Gambhir. Kohli seems only good in matches playing in India.

Posted by TRAM on (July 17, 2014, 3:55 GMT)

Unbelievable how some mumbaikars are talking about Rohit! when the talk is about the missing spinner for India. It is as if Rohit scored centuries for India!!! Shami is the worst culprit in the 1st test - being unable to swing the old ball for which he was hired. Next is Jadeja. How many deliveries these 2 bowlers beat the Eng batsmen??? Both couldn't take a single wkt. If the last wkt partnership is close to 200 that means the BOWLERS are useless. Why talk about bringing Rohit?

Posted by ren1 on (July 17, 2014, 3:49 GMT)

1 Gambhir 2 Vijay, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Kohli, 5 Rahane, 6 Dhoni, 7 Ashwin, 8 B Kumar, 9 Shami ,10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Pankaj/ Pandey/ Aaron or

1 Gambhir 2 Vijay, 3 Pujara, 4 Kohli, 5 Rahane, 6 Dhoni, 7 Binny, 8 Ashwin, 9 Br Kumar, 10 Shami , 11 Pankaj/ Pandey/ Aaron we all know Dhoni don't ant Gamhir but if Inda want win we really need Gambhir so pls Dhoni Forget everything Just ewan win this Test. so we need Gambhir

Posted by B.R.K.R on (July 17, 2014, 3:19 GMT)

one more point, i think the players esp bowlers need to be rotated to keep everyone refreshed in preparation and selecting the best side for WC 2015

Posted by JustIPL on (July 17, 2014, 3:17 GMT)

England: DLDLL India: DDLLD

The last five tests that are considered to understand team form England played a grueling 5test ashes and had to survive a long series while against SL they remained very close in both tests. For India they almost lost the first test against SA and then lost the second test and could not hold on to the drawing streak. The same continued in NZ where they lost the first test continuing loss streak from SA series eventually drew the last test but runs were scored heavily as in trent bridge. India played 2test short series and lost in both occasions and for a longer series they would have tough time.

Posted by JustIPL on (July 17, 2014, 2:55 GMT)

It took a dead pitch for India to draw a test where I think England had a clear upper hand by saving the followon first and then sending shivers down indian batting lineup on the final day. I still believe that SL are the best side as compared to current England and India both teams have to prove they are better than SL.

Posted by B.R.K.R on (July 17, 2014, 2:23 GMT)

my team for tomorrow(in batting order) - 1. Pujara, 2. Gambhir, 3. Rahane, 4. Rohit, 5. Kohli, 6. Jadeja, 7. Dhoni, 8. Ashwin, 9. Bhuvi, 10. Aaron, 11. Pandey - consisting of 5 specialist batsmen, 1 batting all rounder(jaddu), 1 wicket keeping all rounder, 1 bowling all rounder(ashwin), 3 specialist bowlers.

Posted by Sameeratennakoon on (July 17, 2014, 2:23 GMT)

I don't think Gambier will get any chance to play for India until Dhoni steps down as the skipper. India has no match winning batsmen overseas apart from Kohli & Dhoni. They should let Gambier to open with Vijay. He is as talented as kohli. A good driver of the ball. It's a shame that private circumstances with his team mates rules him out of the game. Dilshan and Upul Tharanga a great example for Gambier and Dhoni ,how they leave their problem off field and play 100+ ,200+ partnerships..

Posted by   on (July 17, 2014, 1:52 GMT)

By Playing Binny and Jadeja, India's first instinct is to save the Test Match and in Case any of the three front line bowlers have an inspirational spell like Ishant did at Trent Bridge then go for a win. This Test will have Winner, I believe any one who "Bowls First" will win.

Posted by JustIPL on (July 17, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

Kohli is due for something here after missing out in the last test where scoring was much easier. He can take leads from his last eight test innings two of which were centuries, one a big fifty and another 60+ I guess. His centuries came in the first test against SA and where 450+ was chase able and the last hundred came against NZ when it did not mean much. Here at lords, battle is ripe and only greats will come to surface. If kohli fails then Rohit should be given chance.

Posted by landl47 on (July 17, 2014, 1:36 GMT)

All I'm hoping for is a wicket that allows batsmen to score runs with good shots and bowlers to take wickets with good balls. The pitch at Trent Bridge did neither.

England's seam bowling is somewhat better than India's, but the lack of a test quality spinner hurts them. India's batting is slightly ahead of England's, at least until Cook returns to form, but both sides are prone to collapses.

Taking chances when they are offered will be crucial. It's anyone's game- unless the pitch is quick, with bounce and carry, and takes seam. Then England will have a bit of an advantage. Do I think that's likely? Nope.

Posted by Sigismund on (July 16, 2014, 22:53 GMT)

Any criticism of Bell's returns this summer is incomplete without consideration of the fact that he too has been stymied by the awful pitches. His technique also thrives on some pace in the pitch. All players will be more comfortable in familiar conditions, whatever their role, and Bell is dynamite when in his element. Arguably his frustrated batting is a better reason to lament the unenglish state of the pitches than is the frustration of our bowlers.

Posted by bhushanB on (July 16, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

To spice it up a bit :)... I do not see any of our good friends from ENG.... i guess they are all on a wait & see approach... until the results are out..

One thing is for certain... ENG did not live up to the hype when it took the TEST No.1 ranking from India in 2011.... I am sad for fellow END fans that have waited all their lives and thought they finally had the dream team, the world beaters that would create history for the next decade or so.....

Last time it was both teams fighting for the crown... now both are so-called in a rebuilding phase..

England: DLDLL India: DDLLD

says it all...

Posted by bhushanB on (July 16, 2014, 20:51 GMT)

I do not understand why people are after changing positions for Kohli etc... The batting order is good as it is...they will be tested on more pace-friendly pitches...but that will be a good challenge for them all.... Just Dhawan needs to find his feet.....

The two (or three) burning questions for IND at this time (unless the batting order collapses miserably) are

1.) Pace bowling allrounder 2.) spinner that can make an impact 3.) That pace bowler that can cleanup the tail

If we cannot take 20 wickets in tests, then having a 6th batsman does nothing good.. other than may be a bland draw or two

Posted by AitheySavandi_MeeKharma on (July 16, 2014, 20:14 GMT)

@nenanthe_ado type .... i understood u r a crazy wall fan but the context here is to analyze the future strategy of indian team to win the test series through experimentation....but what u said was right dravid was targetted with serious experimentations and he managed it well....

Posted by CurrentPresident on (July 16, 2014, 20:02 GMT)

The first test was a great relief for both the teams. Now that both have seen off the embarrassment of a whitewash, the real series will begin :-)

England have better odds at Lords while India at Oval. But out of the two teams, I only see one capable of taking 20 wickets (which in my humble opinion is helpful towards winning a test match).

So the series is likely to end 2-0 in favor of England.

Posted by Nenanthe__Adotypu on (July 16, 2014, 19:55 GMT)

@NaaIstam, Dravid has been most versatile through out his career. He consistently proved on any experiment he was assigned on and he definitely deserve an applause here. He was the only player to watch for in 2011 IndEnd series with his elegant 100's in Lords and Nottingham. The Latter was as a opener and 'carried the bat' till end.

Posted by AitheySavandi_MeeKharma on (July 16, 2014, 19:51 GMT)

@NaaIshtam Over experimentation is not good either.....we need our best batsman at no4 ... leave him alone and experiment with others like how we tried opening with dravid and .....laxman at one down and fifth down....we need a pivot and is no.4

Posted by NaaIstam on (July 16, 2014, 19:13 GMT)

@AitheySavu_NeeKharma do you remember what had happened with a guy called Sachin Tendulkar who was moved to the opening slot in a one off match in which he scored 82 runs of 49 balls.The batting consultant erstwhile move to an Opener was in the fading moments of his career and couldn't help himself getting bowled often but if that move was early in his career, it might have actually been fruitful. Experimentation is all it takes for a better future.

Posted by NaaIstam on (July 16, 2014, 19:09 GMT)

Please remember that SL's wins outside Sub-continent could be count on fingers.If you remember a 2 Test series played a month ago, it was all about SL losing almost 3 and a half days of each match but lucky to win the key moments. Anyways,the scheduled "2 tests" should give a clear picture of the capability of the visiting team.

Posted by AitheySavandi_MeeKharma on (July 16, 2014, 19:04 GMT)

@chanaka..... Still not getting over the AL finals thrashing SL got at the hands of india? there is another game going on in srilanka which you need to bother about :)

Posted by AitheySavandi_MeeKharma on (July 16, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

@NaaIstam I dont think moving kohli to opening slot is a great move .... in the past we moved our batting consultant to open and we all know what happened...

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 16, 2014, 18:50 GMT)

I'd rest Plunkett and bring in Jordan, and swap Stokes for Kerrigan. Anderson and Broad were ran into the ground as usual last game, but if Anderson can channel his anger from the recent drama and do all his talking with the ball, and Broad can produce an overdue burst of excitement with the ball this time, England can win.

I can't deny that Bell is struggling, but in my opinion he was never "England's chief entertainer." He is nothing like KP and should never be compared to him. A consistent 30 - 40 runs from Bell plus awesome fielding would be enough for me, nevermind the awesome Ashes 2013 performance. Cook and Prior have every bit as much responsibility to contribute and hold the batting together as Bell. So far, neither of them has, so shouldn't pick on Bell.

Would love to see Ashwin get the nod for India, but tough luck to whoever misses out because they did nothing wrong last game really. Only a matter of time before Kohli fires, so England had better be ready for him.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

Come on England thrash the flat track champions. Playing test cricket since 1932 but have ONLY won 5 test matches in England. He he that tells the story. No point of comparing anything else or else making any other argument. Good luck England.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 18:46 GMT)

India XI: 1.Vijay 2.Gambir 3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rahane 6.Rohith 7.Dhoni 8.Ashwin 9.Kumar 10.Ishanth 11.Shami

Posted by bhushanB on (July 16, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

If someone has to replace Binny.. it better be a "genuine pace bowler" than a spinner

Posted by NaaIstam on (July 16, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

Though Vijay scored big, he should be replaced as soon as possible..I say,bring Kohli as an Opener and Binny should be at 4,not sure what Dhoni is still doing in the team, Its time to get Parthiv Patel, Dinda + Nehra + Ishant combination should be great bowling in tandem with Harbhajan as the frontline spinner opening the bowling would be ideal..

My XI : Dhawan, Kohli, Parthiv, Jaffar ,Yuvraj, ,Saha(wk), Binny, Harbhajan, Dinda, Nehra, Ishant

Posted by Lermy on (July 16, 2014, 18:22 GMT)

If playing on a "results" pitch means the occasional two or three day test match, then so be it. Makes for a far more interesting game. Lets see batsmen fight for survival and runs.

Posted by Cricfever_PM on (July 16, 2014, 18:09 GMT)

India should play specialized spinner in Lords though it will offer more to seemer but the spinner role in important here, I think Binny would get chance and time for Ashwin to prove here and drop Jaddu as he still to take wicket in this tour. Kohli must prove here and score 100 and fulfill Sachin's unfinished job of lords ton, and Rahena & openers has to be more carefull and moreover Dhoni must try attacking option than defensive one.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 18:05 GMT)

If Indian selecters give chance to Gambhir then that he will make good runs by chance. after that Dhawan's place is danger he will have to wait for his chance then.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

I felt before the start of the series that Ashwin should play ahead of Jadeja, mainly to exploit the advantage due to number of left handers in the English batting line up, Cook, Ballance, Ali, Anderson, Broad and Stokes.... Who knows, maybe if Ashwin had played in the first test, then he might have dismissed Anderson, Broad early and we might have won. I seriously think India need that offspin from Ashwin. Ashwin has a better test batting average than Rahane and Rohit, and I think he's good enough a batsman to be selected as a batsman who can bowl. My playing XI : Dhawan, Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Dhoni, Ashwin, Jadeja, Binny, Bhuvi, Shami and Ishant. Dhoni seemed to enjoy the opportunity of batting at No. 6, so he might do well at No 5 too, or even push Binny or Ashwin up ahead of him and retain his No. 6 spot. Ashwin should play!!

Posted by wolf777 on (July 16, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

Ashwin? When was the last time he bowled good outside the Indian Subcontinent? Sorry….I can't recall….

Posted by Cricket_BornForIt on (July 16, 2014, 17:20 GMT)

I think if India wants to play jadeja they should bring in Rohit as he can bowl off spin too. Virat can roll his arm... if Dhoni as seen wants Binny to bowl just 10% of overs why not Virat playing that role. This way you have variety and depth.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 16:37 GMT)

Rohit should come in and Ashwin(though I am not a big fan) should too. But you know that will not happen. Dropping Rohit was a mistake in the first match too and picking Jadeja in a test match is always a mistake. The solution is right there. Develop Rohit as a 5th bowler. Look at what SA are doing with JP. I love Binny, but he just shakes up the balance a bit. He is a definite in limited overs though. Test cricket is about specialists people. For England, as much as pitch and conditions be 'English', you still always need a specialist spinner and with Stokes at no. 6, they can have a beautiful balance in the side and always play a frontline line spinner. If you don't have one, develop one. But don't look for quikfix or run away from the problem.

India XI: Vijay,Dhawan,Puji,Kohli,Rohit,Rahane,Dhoni,Ashwin,Bhuvi,Ishu,Shami.

Ideally I would want Gambhir(C & Opening), Saha for Dhoni, Ojha for Ash.

Eng XI :Cook,Robson,Ballance,Bell,Root,Stokes,Prior,Broad,Kerrigan, Plunkett,Anders.

Posted by mission_melbourne on (July 16, 2014, 16:33 GMT)

If i would have beeen selector, i would give last chance to Dhawan, and no more persist with Ishant Sharma. As lords suggest green pitch for 1st 2 days, and turn in last 3 days. My XI will be... 1.M.Vijay 2.S.Dhawan 3.C.Pujara 4.V.Kohli 5.A.Rahane 6.S.Binny 7.MSD 8.R.Ashwin 9.R.Jadeja 10.B.Kumar 10.M.Shami.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 16:31 GMT)

Naman Ojha has been in great form with the India A side against Australia, three centuries in a row, including a double; he can be a solid wicket keeper batsman..

Posted by y4yoga on (July 16, 2014, 16:29 GMT)

India Need to Replace Ashwin instead of Jadeja because there are mainly 4 Left handed Batsmen , where Ashwin could be very effective whether the pitch turns or not. When seeing the last match that Jimmy's innings who is No.11 able to play jadeja easily well its not a good idea to go with...Also on the other hand If the Batting collapse Aswin's Genuine Test Batting will help rather than jadeja's quick 20's and 30's... sad thing is that MSD not quick to change the Playing 11 unless forced to

Posted by neil99 on (July 16, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

The track need something in it to prevent another 3 innings stalemate. Let's hope Mick Hunt gets it right. I'd like to see Ashwin back for India. Despite some mixed performances he's a talented lad, and Let's face it, pace bowlers trundling in all day is frankly quite boring. Unfortunately I can't see anything more than a rather tame draw.

Posted by neil99 on (July 16, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

The track need something in it to prevent another 3 innings stalemate. Let's hope Mick Hunt gets it right. I'd like to see Ashwin back for India. Despite some mixed performances he's a talented lad, and Let's face it, pace bowlers trundling in all day is frankly quite boring. It's too close to call, but I can't see anything more than a rather tame draw.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 15:28 GMT)

The squad for the lords Test should be 1. Vijay 2. Dhawan 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6.Dhoni (If possible Saha...but I know its not possible) 7. Binny 8. Ashwin 9. Bhuveneshwar Kumar 10. Shami 11.Aaron (but I know it will be Ishant Sharma again )

Posted by CodandChips on (July 16, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

As for India, I said before the Trent Bridge test that they needed Ashwin. Not only would a second spinner be handy, especially to a side with 6 left-handers, but he's also an excellent batsman. He was India's second best batsman in the England tour of India during 2012. His test average of over 40 is much better than Dhoni's for example, despite Dhoni having a sensational 2013.

Jadeja should stay. He's a useful cricketer. I like him as a bowler. The Anderson incident shouldn't effect him either. His international batting has been poor but his domestic record suggests he can bat.

Dhawan should be given more chances before being dropped. This time last year he scored plenty of runs in the CT13. And his career test average is still excellent.

Binny batted well but his bowling wasn't great. Dhoni should have had more confidence in him though.

Will India want to rest any bowlers yet?

1.Dhawan 2.Vijay 3.Pujara 4.Kohli 5.Rahane 6.Ashwin 7.Dhoni 8.Jadeja 9.Kumar 10.Shami 11.Sharma

Posted by CodandChips on (July 16, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

(continued again)

I think England will remain unchanged. They never change the side much mid series.

Based on the squad I'd like to see

1.Cook 2.Robson 3.Ballance 4.Ali 5.Root 6.Stokes 7.Woakes 8.Prior 9.Broad 10.Jordan 11.Kerrigan

I know it seems like a lot of bowlers. But in these conditions we need them. And also Ali would not play as a batsmen who could cover Kerrigan's overs if he bottles it again.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 15:13 GMT)

bring Aron for shami. ishanth bowlled well

Posted by vinay224 on (July 16, 2014, 15:07 GMT)

shami ahmed is the key, he will emerge as the main bowler for India and a threat to Engalnd

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 15:06 GMT)

I am surprised after reading comments about Rohit about his test performance. Some people saying Rohit scored against WI who has weaker bowling attack. Can I ask a question to those who are saying this, why then India was in position of bothering in that test match 87/5. Including Tendulkar we were having all our great batsmen like Vijay, Dhavan, Pujara, Dhoni etc. Its not worth to classified test performances like this. Name the batsman whi scored tons of runs in his first attempt in SA. What happened to Pujara in his first SA tour ? What happend to Gavaskar in his first England tour after his dream debue against WI ? For almost every batsman in subcontinent specially it is difficult to get immediate success in tough tours like SA. Cse pitches SA are totally different than subcontinent. And SA players too faces same pbms in subcontinent. We saw Steyn showing eyes to Rohit in SA. But same Steyn was hit for huge six in his very first over by Rohit in T20 WC withi time of 20 days. ATB Ro

Posted by CodandChips on (July 16, 2014, 15:05 GMT)

England need to rotate the bowlers. Broad and Anderson are the best bowlers and should alternate matches (though if Anderson gets banned this will have to change). Plunkett has played all summer so should also get a rest in this match.

Woakes is an interesting one. So far this year he's been in every England squad (bar the Ashes which started last year and the West Indies tour until called up as Stokes replacement) but has played just once. It's as if England recognise his ability but are afraid to play him. If he does play I wonder whether he'll play as an allrounder or a bowler, as his batting hasn't really functioned this season.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

Recall Umesh Yadav from India A tour to Australia and swap him for Mohammed Shami. His pace and three ability to reverse swing will be very handy in the latter part of the tour. But for Lord's, unchanged XI as he wouldn't be able to join on time.

Posted by bhushanB on (July 16, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

Hopefully India do not make the mistake of fielding two spin bowlers in ENG... it took great ordeal to come out of the shell of playing with 7 batsmen... Binny may or may not be the answer to the pace bowling allrounder... but for away-tests India should always field 3 pacers, 1 genuine spinner + one pace bowling allrounder -- unless the pitch is a rank turner..

As for Ashwin, he was terrible outside of India, but for the lack of options for a genuine spinner and with several LHB in ENG.... it makes sense to go with him over Jadeja (will not happen this test though).

Binny should play.... let him fail miserably if he is not up to it.. but give him chance... and continue the search for that pace bowling all rounder.... IND will definitely need one for the 2015 ODI worldcup as well....

Posted by CodandChips on (July 16, 2014, 14:30 GMT)

There's nothing like a Lord's test. For me it is always a fantastic part of the summer. Let's hope nothing unsavoury ruins it. Likewise I hope the pitch encourages a good encounter between these two evenly matched teams.

I doubt either team would have been too discouraged from the last test. India proved that they could take wickets, Vijay scored a hundred and Binny batted well on debut. England will take encouragement from the young batsmen and the fifth morning.

Both have concerns though. India will worry about completing the job of bowling England out and collapses. England will worry about fatigue of bowlers and their senior players.

Hopefully an exciting test match. Hopefully good weather.

Posted by cubersamy on (July 16, 2014, 14:23 GMT)

Shami's speeds are clearly down. Just out of interest has anyone heard if Shami is fasting? If he is it fair to expect him to be bowling at his best?

Posted by bhushanB on (July 16, 2014, 14:21 GMT)

With the number of right hand batsmen in ENG side, Ashwin can replace Jadeja, but Binny should be persisted with through out the series.... he did his part with the bat when needed, and who knows could have done his bit with the ball, if given a chance...... Please no Rohit..that is a backward step to the 4 bowler strategy....

I would not mind Aaron coming in for Ishant or even Shami to provide him some rest.

Dhoni might field the same team though...

Posted by siddhartha87 on (July 16, 2014, 14:20 GMT)

Surprised at omission of Rohit. I think he has enough class to be playing XI. Similarly England needs to use Kerrigan in place of Stokes.

Squads should be-

India-1. Vijay 2.Dhawan 3. Pujara 4. Kohli 5. Rahane 6.Rohit Sharma 7.Dhoni 8. Jadeja 9.Kumar 10.Sharma 11.Ahmed

England- 1. Cook 2 .Robson 3. Ballance 4.Bell 5.Root 6.Ali/Stokes 7.Prior 8. Broad 9.Plunkeet 10.Anderson 11.Kerrigan

Posted by Ind.rosh11 on (July 16, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

I really want India to win this test series even with 1-0 or a series draw is also acceptable. Becoz after many away tests/series failure this is a good chance for team India to win a test or two away from home. Becoz after England we will move to down under to play Australia in Nov. & w/o any shame or doubt it's true that it's nearly impossible to win a single test against Aussies in down under. Becoz of totally different Pitches & more than that obviously too far better bowling line up than English team really they are the best bowling line up in the world right now. So I hope India will doing well in upcoming 4 matches against England.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 14:18 GMT)

India must bring Ashwin back into the team in place of either Jadeja or Binny. Rohit must sit out all remaining four tests. Kohli not played well may be repalced ghambir.

Posted by Rajeshj on (July 16, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

@Anand: Please understand that Rohit's averages show high because of his runs against a deflated, weak West Indies bowling in India.. In South Africa, he was miserable scoring just 45 runs in two tests.. In New Zealand, he scored just one fifty in 4 innings.. So there is no doubt that he is quite a susceptible case for tests in England.. Rohit can be considered only if Rahane or Dhawan fails in the next few matches.. The most worrying part is the continued exclusion of Ashwin.. Instead of nourishing a good talent, who can prosper if handled well, Ashwin is being needlessly messed around.. Surely not all commentators and experts and ex-players are getting it wrong, when they express shock at the way Ashwin is being treated now.. In order to promote Jadeja, Dhoni is needlessly killing the confidence, temperament, talent and skill of a remarkable spinner like Ashwin..

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 14:14 GMT)

Mediocre 80 mph bowling gave an illusion of pitch being dead..........Actually this level of bowling cannot take 20 wickets in 7 days on any pitch. Ind has proved that

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Ashwin will hurt and only get better if he his not included in the team. He/Most people do not learn when the grass is green or in this case the pitch is laced woth pot holes.

Posted by praneetbhat on (July 16, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

In any case we can't say Rohit as better player than Virat. Yes Ashwin is better tan Jadeja. Without giving Binny much bowling in Trent-bridge we can't say he is just batsman & his medium pace is not useful. We should remember that last test pitch is not typical England track & in order to misguide India for team selection for remaining 4 tests, that pitch might be trap.!! As England have more than half team LHB, Ashwin selection will make sense. Just bcoz not played for month or 2, player can't loose form. If happened so, he can't be given opportunity ahead of someone who is hope for India & consistent performer in shorter version. It is right Kohli under pressure to convert his short version form into Test form, leave him alone he will prove his class. Rohit batting outside sub-continent & slow tracks is not impressive & we can't take risk of experiment with him as he failed in SA is just der as ex for us.!! Kohli not filling anyone's place, rather he is playing in his own place.!!

Posted by amitca on (July 16, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

We got Naman Oja scoring 3 100+ consecutive inning; Its time for Dhoni to score 100 ; so we need bowler Ashwin ; We need bowler not some one who score at no 8 and 9 ; so we need Ashwin.

Posted by wolf777 on (July 16, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

Forget all the talking heads. Unless Rohit Sharma is an allrounder, there is no place for him in the playing eleven. I remember last time India played at Lords. Zaheer Khan got injured on the first day before the lunch with England in a sport of bother. India was left with only three bowlers and 4 and half days to go of a Test Match. Can Ajit Agarkar or Ian Chappell please explain us how to defend a Test Match when you have only three bowlers and four days to go?

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

weather will be warm so england will have to do extra if they want it to be an english pitch. issue with england is cook, prior, and bell. bell looked good for a bit but not scoring big. cook and prior are just not performing good enough.india should play ashwin. he can getwhatever assistance will be available for spinners

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

@ Anand Palwankar Don't cry for Rohit. He got those 300 runs in India against WI. But he failed cheaply in all other four tests except that one 50 in NZ. But in England, We need an allrounder rather than a batsman. So the chance given to Binny.. Actually, He did well in practice match & in 1st match. Rohit flopped in practice match as same for Ashwin. Ashwin went for 5-6 Rpo and not even picked any single wicket in practice match so the place given to Jadeja who did well in P. match in both the matches. Both Ashwin and Rohit (Even in ODI) are not doing well in Overseas. That's y new entries happened. Dhoni gets escaping because of his Overrated captaincy in tests. Otherwise, he would have been thrown out long time ago.There might be a single change b/w Ghambir Vs Dhawan for next test. No place for Rohit if Binny plays well. Rahane Vs Rohit might be an another option but he will come back in Next match. He did fairly in SA and NZ. He will prove here also.

Posted by amitca on (July 16, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

2 Shikhar Dhawan ; Rohit 5 Ajinkya Rahane ; Ashwin ; Ashwin has scored many runs and can play after Dhoni before Jadeja. Dhawan need to go back to 3-4 days domestic cricket and need to stay for 50+ overs to come back to test. He makes strong presence on ground but not scoring the runs

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

I really dont understand that y the cricket pundit backing ashwin..believe me he ws dropped on the basis of poor performances in away tests .. some horrible performances in england, aus, south africa.. and the point is binny is a proper batsman. ashwin could hv done nthng aprt frm bowling 20-30 wicket less overs .. and yes outside aisa even the bowlers like mooen ali and duminy are much better thn aswin.. india would have lost the trent bridge test, if ashwin would have there.. binny played a matured knock and will improve his bowling in upcoming matches..

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

Lush green pitch expected at Lords. Match will get over in 3 days.

Posted by vikkkkkky on (July 16, 2014, 13:52 GMT)

Please no Rohit. His stats so far are high in tests only due to couple of big innings at home. We all know, how miserably he plays in the away matches.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

Rohit should replace Kohli

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

It would be a disaster not to play Ashwin at Lords. He must replace Binny. If may be tough on Stuart but he contributes little beyond India's three other pacers. England will struggle against two specialist spinners.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 13:42 GMT)

@CricketChat .. Give kohli some time... It just five tests he has played in that place ..!! In the 10 innings he has played, he already made couple of centuries and couple of half centuries playing at that position and that too out of sub continent. Once he was give out for no reason.

I would say he batted better than any one even sachin..!!

Posted by Kruns on (July 16, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

@Gurdit Singh: Agreed that Rohit is a good Prospect for India but better than kohli not for sure ..... He has to prove a lot the centuries he scored was both in India and not outside India the only person in the current team he can replace is Rahane who currently cannot be dropped as he has done better in overseas conditions.... dont think rohit should be upset with this but should take this as a lesson to play consistent cricket which he lacks...

I am a Big Big Big Big Fan of Rohit Sharma but no player in the team should be taken just cause he is Potentially good he needs to Perform as well....

Posted by Coolcapricorn on (July 16, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

Think India should bring Ashwin back into the team in place of either Jadeja or Binny - depending on how the wicket looks like. Ashwin may have poor overseas record to date but we need our main spinner to contribute in taking wickets & not just be a containing bowler like Jadeja will generally be abroad.

Posted by Nampally on (July 16, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

I won't be surprised if Dhoni goes with an unchanged XI for he Lords Test. Logic was never a strong point in Dhoni's character. He goes more with gut feelings & instinct. One would expect that with 6 LH bats in the opposition, an off spinner like Ashwin, will be a shoe in. Yet Dhoni defies logic with his instincts which have cost India victories In Test matches in SA, NZ & last one in Trent Bridge. Even if Binny scored 1 & 81, one should not forget that on the same pitch, Kumar scored 58 & 63* + Shami scored 51 & Broad 47. Also this begs the question whether these 2 teams have right type of quality bowlers to finish off the tail enders. If not why don't the Captains get those bowlers instead of blaming the Pitches. With Lords pitch looking green, logic & common sense calls for a real pace bowler instead of 120 KPH Binny as the 4th seamer. Even going by instincts I would have replaced Binny with Aaron @ 145 KPH & Jadeja with Ashwin to counter the LH bats - 2 essential changes, MSD!

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

agree with anand palwankar.rohit is the brightest prospect for India in the future.I also think he's s better player than kohli.

Posted by   on (July 16, 2014, 12:59 GMT)

Very tough luck for Rohit again. Once again Rohit is in danger zone. Remembering 2012 Aussie tour. Before that Aussie tour Rohit won MOS vs WI. With that performance Rohit was selected in test side against Aussie. Rohit even started well with two hakf centuries in both the tour matches. But didnt even able to find place in playing 11 in all four tests. So Rohit sat almost for two months without any match. Then came Tri series and he lost his valuable form miserably. Once again it seems to be Rohit again falling in same situation. Rohit's record in tests - 6 tests, 450 runs at 56 avg. Double than anybody in current Indian batting line in their first 6 tests. Ans what will more frustating for Rohit is missing presigious opportunity performing at Lords in tests. Without critising anybody only will say its totally bad luck for Rohit and feeling very sorry for him. Especially remembering his last test match saving inning with Virat in NZ, 31 no. I only pray Rohit dont be upset. All the best

Posted by CricketChat on (July 16, 2014, 12:45 GMT)

Kohli is facing the pressure of too much expectations from fans. If the top 3 batters don't setup a good base by the time he comes in, he is under pressure straight away. Might be better if he came in after Rahane for the next match. Trying to fill-in Sachin's spot is tough anyone, even for Kohli.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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