About the Match
With the first of the 5-match test series ending in a draw, England plays India in the 2nd Test match that starts on 17th July at Lords. England could not dominate the proceedings in the middle against a resilient Indian batting line up at Nottingham during the 1st Test as the tail enders paired up for India to ensure that they put up an imposing total against the home side, which could have posed problem if the top order of the England side had cracked under pressure; but Root coming at No. 5, held one end and took the side to a psychologically advantageous 1st innings lead however they couldn't turn the contest into victory. Which side proves to be better in variety and dominance could be assessed in the tests ahead, with a possible result at Lords.
There was a middle order collapse in the only innings they played in the 1st test, when Sharma struck to reduce the side to 202 for 7, during which Bhuvneshwar Kumar was at his peak and threatening. It was the stand between Root and Broad that stemmed the rot followed by the historic 10th wicket near - double century stand between Root and Anderson, the former smashing a match saving 154 with 15 fours, facing 295 balls. The home side lacks a punch in their bowling attack which is not able to deliver quick blows that could mount pressure on the opponent. With Cook failing in the opening slot, Robson and Ballance were able to manage in building the innings; Root bridges the gap well between the top and middle and has the capacity to lead the lower order and cross the hurdle. They will study Kohli’s weaknesses to ensure that he is not in a position to play his exploits; they will need to strategize well to contain the opponents, who would have garnered more confidence by now.
Binny played a useful innings to stall the possible dominance by the home side and proved his capabilities to play in test conditions patiently to save the match, in his very 1st test match on getting honored with the test cap. He will certainly prove to be a dependable and effective all-rounder to the team; most of the players were part of the shorter format of the game having played a useful role for their respective teams in the IPL recently but it is appreciable to see all of them adapting to the test conditions, in all departments of the game, that too on foreign soil. Kohli needs to study his style with tips from his seniors, and the day is not too far that he proves his place in test cricket; Dhoni has the luxury of an effective battery of fast bowlers in Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Ishant. Maybe Ashwin can find a place to give better variety in bowling without changing the balance in the team. The players have received a major morale boost and must capitalize on it to take their campaign ahead positively.
With honors even after the 1st test, both sides will try to dominate at Lords and though England has the home advantage, we feel India is in a better position to win largely because of all batsmen in prime form contrary to England where only Joe Root performed in the opener and Indians have gotten acquainted to the conditions as well.
India, 4.00 @ Bet365