You might fear the worst after watching India suffer an innings defeat at Lord’s, but so bad was the performance from the entire team that the visitor cannot play any worse in the three Tests remaining in this series.
England thrived in conditions that were tailormade for their swing bowlers (James Anderson and Chris Woakes), though the ineptitude of the Indian batsmen made their job easier. They had to bowl only 82.2 overs in the two innings combined to take 20 Indian wickets and the considerably lesser workload bodes well for them.
India’s playing XI for the 3rd Test
India made a blunder by selecting two spinners despite the weather being conducive to seam bowlers. The second spinner (Kuldeep Yadav) bowled badly too, to worsen matters for the team management.
A combination of the change in English weather in recent weeks and the imbalance that can be caused by the inclusion of a second spinner means India are unlikely to persist with two spinners from the second Test at Lord’s.
Kuldeep is likely to be the one who makes way for a seamer.
Jasprit Bumrah is available for selection for the third Test and he is likely to come into the side and spearhead the attack.
The other possible change is Rishabh Pant replacing Dinesh Karthik. Karthik has made only 21 runs in four innings—that he has barely offered any resistance or shown any confidence with the bat will the concern for the team management—and not been secure behind the stumps either.
Probable India playing 11 for 3rd Test: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Murali Vijay, 3 KL Rahul, 4 Cheteshwar Pujara, 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rishabh Pant (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Ishant Sharma
England’s playing XI for the 3rd Test
The home team have little to no worries in terms of team selection.
Their squad for the third Test is the same from the last Test match, with the exception of Ben Stokes regaining his spot after being cleared of affray.
Ben Stokes played a starring role, particularly with the ball, in England winning the first Test at Edgbaston. But his replacement for the second Test, Chris Woakes, put in a terrific all-rounder’s performance that leaves the team management with a tough decision to make.
Ollie Pope batted reasonably well on his debut and had only one hit at Lord’s, making a 38-ball 28.
Chances are that England will retain the same playing XI from Lord’s for the third Test.
Probable England playing 11 for 3rd Test: 1 Joe Root (c), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Keaton Jennings, 4 Ollie Pope, 5 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 6 Jos Buttler, 7 Chris Woakes, 8 Sam Curran, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson