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England face India in second test at Lords


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Following a nail biting finish to the first test at Edgbaston last week, England and India lock horns again in the second of five test matches. 

Despite only setting India 193 to win the first test, Joe Roots men are 1-0 up following a inspartional turnaround in Birmingham.

Needing less than 200 to win, India were bowled out for 162, with Ben Stokes taking 4 wickets. The all rounder however will miss this test match as he he spends the week in court and will be repalced by Chris Woakes. 

Surrey batsman Ollie Pope could also make his England debut, replacing Dawid Malan, who's scores of 8 and 20 at Edgabston were not enough to save his position for the second test.

India would have left Edgbaston more thean frustrated that they found themselves 1-0 down in the series. Ishant Shrama was the pick of the India bowlers on day three as they dismantled the England batting order and looked to have put themselves in pole position to lead the series.

India's struggles against the moving bowl, however, is what ultimatley cost them, with no batsman in the first innings reaching 30 bar captain Virat Kohli, who's 149 got India to what at one stage looked unlikekly 274.

Despite only needing a modest total to win the test, again India's batsman failed and when Stokes got Kohli LBW for 51 it all but ended any Indian hopes of a victory, with again the top order failing to score any runs.

India know a win at Lords now is a must with the conditions likely to be in their favour, however, were they to lose, the tourists would face an uphill battle to salvage the series, with the third test at Trent Bridge, a ground England have only lost twice at in the last 11 years.

If India are to win at Lords then it is important that more senior batsman step up to the plate. Openers Mulari Vijay and Shikar Dhawan both failed to fire in Birmingham whilst Rahul and Rahane also both struggled.

The suprising decision from the Indian's was to leave out Cheteshwar Pujara, who's test average can only be bettered by Kohli in the Indian side. It is exected that he'll come back into the team this week.

India could also turn to young leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav. The 23 year old has already enjoyed a considerable amount of sucess in England this summer, taking 14 wickets in the t20's and One Day International's.

Joe Root will also be looking for improvement from his side despite winning the first test. England yet again failed to score 300 and were bowled out twice. England have failed to win there last three series' and Root is aware of the importance this series has. 

Whatever happens this week at Lord's, the standard has been set and we are in for yet another cracking test match. 

Image Credit - Flickr Commons, NAPARAZZI. Wikipedia Commons. 

Main image shows England's Joe Root in action. 

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