Keeping up with tradition, the second Specsavers' India-England Test match will begin on the Lord's cricket ground today, with a customary ringing of the "Lord's Bell".
Captain Root confirmed in Wednesday's media interaction that 20-year-old Ollie Pope will be handed his maiden Test cap tomorrow. He will be a huge miss indeed so England will have to take that call to replace him either with Chris Woakes or Moeen Ali.
Stokes sent a message of good luck to England and debutant Pope on Instagram on Thursday morning.
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. With the ball, James Anderson did well in both the innings, while Sam Curran was the home team's star man in the 1st Test who did well with both bat and ball to help England to claim victory.
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So, in the second test, the Indian team management may make a few changes in the batting department, bringing in experienced batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in place of Lokesh Rahul, who scored 4 and 13 runs respectively in both the innings.
There was a lot of talk about the inclusion of seamer Jamie Porter ahead of the first Test but Captain Root preferred Sam Curran and the player delivered a Man-of-the-Match performance.
"It is not like I feel bad that I got runs and we couldn't get across the line", added Kohli, now the world's top-ranked batsman in both Test and one-day global cricket. Toss likely to be delayed.
Umpires were forced to make several inspections to check if the ground was in a condition to start quickly should the rain stop.
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Two fallible sides provoked apoplexy among their supporters at times during the first three days at Edgbaston.
"As long as we cross the line, that is the only thing that matters", Kohli insisted. But even if they don't, the general expectation is that the pitch would turn out to be quite dry.
Despite India's overall failed batting effort at Edgbaston, bowling coach Bharat Arun ruled out playing an extra batsman here. They can also be made captains.
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