Only Kohli made contributions of any significance with the bat at Edgbaston, with scores of 149 and 51. The next best score by an Indian batsman in the entire match was 31, by Hardik Pandya
London: Virat Kohli is an ace batsman, but at India's practice session on Tuesday ahead of the second Test at Lord's, he had an advice or two for the bowlers as well. As Kohli was instructing the bowlers, the rest of the Indian batsmen were seen putting in the hard yards too.
The openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay looked determined and they would be looking to give the team a better foundation than they could in the first Test at Edgbaston. It may be noted that Kohli had chided the batting unit after the Edgbaston loss, saying that the entire batting unit needs to look at themselves in the mirror.
Only Kohli made contributions of any significance with the bat, with scores of 149 and 51. The next best score by an Indian batsman in the entire match was 31, by Hardik Pandya. Chasing a perfectly gettable 194, India fell 31 runs short, blowing a golden opportunity to notch up a rare overseas win. However, the body language of the batsmen during the practice session was a clear indication that Kohli's post-match statements were taken very seriously.
India were hurt, one feels, by the decision to drop a specialist No 3 at Edgbaston and it will be interesting to see if Pujara, who has proven his mettle at that position over the years, is brought back into the playing XI at the Lord's.
The second Test would provide another opportunity for Ajinkya Rahane to get back among the runs. In 2014, when India last toured England, Rahane scored a century at the Lord's and played a key role in India's victory. Rahane is a technically sound batsman and has a good overseas record. India badly need a repeat of Rahane's 2014 performance.
Kohli, meanwhile, was seen to be trying certain innovative batting techniques in the nets. The new exercise seems to have been done with the aim of using the crease to his advantage in the upcoming Test. Unlike the 2014 tour, Kohli finds himself in brilliant form at the moment. He is attacking the ball rather than playing it on the back foot. The entire batting department need to follow Kohli's lead.
The weather is also expected to play a major role in the second Test. From Thursday, the temperature in London is forecast to be between 20-22 degrees celsius, which would be conducive for pace bowlers. There are also chances of light showers, which will encourage pace bowlers to put in extra effort on this surface. This is not a typical Lord’s wicket, which is known for being flat.
Another thing that the players have to contend with is the slope of the Lord’s ground. The slope makes it difficult for a bowler who has never played here to adjust his line and length.
Bowling coach Bharat Arun did not give any specific details in the last press conference about the playing XI, but he made it clear that Jasprit Bumrah is out of the contention for the upcoming Test.
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Last Updated Aug 9, 2018, 7:46 AM IST