By News Team
Last Updated: 10th August 2021
The first Test ended in a rain-assisted draw and England will have to take a long look at themselves if they’re to be more competitive at Lord’s this week.
It was a match that signified the start of the Test summer but unfortunately for India, the English weather robbed them of the chance of victory. For England, though, they live to fight another day and if they are to have a chance in the second Test, players will need to step up to the mark.
It wasn’t to be that Trent Bridge would be the ground to thrust Joe Root into the history books and become England’s most successful Test captain by claiming his 27th win in charge. However, from a personal perspective the Test could hardly have gone better for the Yorkshireman.
After a first innings half-century, he scored a brilliant knock in the second innings, bringing up his 21st Test century which gave England a sniff at victory when they had looked like they’d do well to not be utterly embarrassed on the back of a weak batting performance in the first innings.
All four results were possible heading into the final day, but the weather gods were having none of it and the possibility of a fifth day spectacular was soon ruled out.
The reason why Root has the support and gratitude of England fans is because the fundamental problems that have plagued the England camp for some years now still remain. Root is doing his best, both as a player and as a captain, but if the England set-up doesn’t have the players required at international level and with a regulatory body that insists on prioritising white-ball cricket, then not much more can be done from the man with the armband.
The lack of a solid, working top-order for England is the biggest concern heading into the second Test and Root will likely be soldiering a lot of the run-scoring weight at Lord’s, which unsurprisingly sees him as the 7/4 favourite to lead the run charge.
At the other end of the team, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will head to the home of cricket with a spring in their step knowing that it is one of their most successful hunting grounds.
Anderson is 2/1 to lead England’s attack and the veteran swing bowler, now the third highest wicket taker in Test history, will be revelling at the thought of taking on Virat Kohli again. Ollie Robinson, who debuted at Lord’s only a few months ago, has all the attributes to make himself a serious threat using the slope to his advantage and his ability to move the ball off the deck in Glenn McGrath-esque fashion. At 11/4 he looks a tempting price to do the damage in the first innings as the top England bowler.
Too close to call
Indian captain Kohli was out for a golden duck in the first Test and the run machine will not want a repeat of that performance again. Everybody knows the talent he has and what he’s capable of, so if he can apply that in this Test England could be in for a long day in the field.
He arrives here as the 2/1 favourite to lead his country from the front and register the most first innings runs. Cheteshwar Pujara is the man that takes the second spot at 7/2 and although we didn’t see him at his patient best in the first Test – another early victim of Anderson’s – he has shown the ability time and time again to register big scores.
Neither side can be split in the betting market with both sides priced at 13/10 to draw first blood in the five-match series. This tells you all you need to know about how tight this game could be. A lot will depend on individual performances from the aforementioned names, but it could be the players in the periphery that make the key difference.
As stated, England are not short on their superstar players but it’s the ones that go quietly about their business that is the concern, while India on the other hand have a wealth of reliable men in their team.
The one thing that can be guaranteed, weather permitting, is that two sides will turn up to Lord’s desperate to take the win in a Test that could make or break the series.