India succumbed to a humilaiting loss to England in the 2nd Test at Lord’s. Here we look at 3 changes India should make for 3rd Test against England in order to make a comeback in the series
Just a week after a competitive performance at Edgbaston, the Indian cricket team slumped to an embarrassing defeat against England at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. Once again India’s difficulties while playing in overseas conditions have been highlighted, giving rise to a plethora of unanswered questions about the team combination and their playing technique.
In a game constantly interrupted by rain, England were able to dismiss the Indians twice in a span of just 170.3 overs. England scored 396 runs for 7 wickets, whereas India were dismissed for 107 and 130 respectively in both the innings.
One could say that India were hard done by the playing conditions while batting in both the innings, but the glaring mistakes in technique and team selections can not be hidden. The Indian batsmen looked low on confidence and their strategies to combat the exceptional swing bowling looked questionable and ineffective.
The Indian team management must look into their weaknesses and strengths to reassess their team combination and maybe add in another pace bowler to give them an advantage in the seam-friendly conditions.
Let’s look at 3 changes India could make in the playing XI for the 3rd test match to make a comeback in the series:
Shikhar Dhawan for Murali Vijay
The opening pair statistics for Team India have been dismal in the recent years. Since 2011, out of the 52 innings that they have played, only 4 times the opening pair have got a score of 50 plus and they have never gone wicketless for more than 20 overs.
In the build-up to this series, a lot was expected from Murli Vijay, who has delivered some good performances in the longest format in recent years. However, the opener has been a huge disappointment so far.
Vijay, who has managed to score just 26 runs in four innings, has had a lot of trouble deciphering England’s swing bowling. The Tamil Nadu batsman, who got out on a pair in the Lord’s Test match, looked clueless during his time at the crease and was completely outplayed by James Anderson in both the innings
Left-handed, Shikhar Dhawan could come in for Vijay in the next Test match. Shikhar Dhawan is not a proven performer in overseas Test matches, but he looked in good touch in the first Test match before getting out to chasing deliveries outside the off.
The Delhi-batsman could add an attacking approach to the batting line-up and could also help in making a left-hand-right-hand combination at the top with KL Rahul.
Rishabh Pant for Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik, who scored a lot of runs in the domestic circuit as well as in the limited overs formats, got a chance to be a part of the playing XI in Tests as Wriddhiman Saha pulled out due to an injury. The wicket-keeper has looked out of sorts with his batting and his technique has been brought under the radar by many experts.
He has been clean bowled twice so far, where there was a huge gap between the bat and the pads. He has managed to score only 21 runs in four innings, having been dismissed on a duck twice.
Karthik’s alternative, Rishabh Pant has been raising eyebrows with his performances in limited overs cricket. The Indian team has been criticised for their over-defensive approach in the two tests and an aggressive and confident Pant could be the solution to their batting woes.
The youngster has also been acclimatised to English conditions as he has been playing for India A since the last two months and has played some responsible innings for the side.
Jasprit Bumrah for Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav was picked in the Test squad after causing havoc for the England side in the ODI and T20I series. The chinaman was not a part of the playing XI in the first test, however India decided to go with two spinning options in the Lord’s Test and as a result, Kuldeep Yadav got a chance.
However, the Indian skipper used Yadav for a total of only 9 overs during the match as the conditions were not suited for spinners. Yadav failed to find the right spot in the match and was ineffective in causing troubles for the England batsman.
Jasprit Bumrah missed out the first two test matches on account of a thumb injury he picked up against Ireland. The pace bowler from Gujarat, who has been one of India’s greatest finds in recent years, had been India’s key bowler when they toured South Africa.
Bumrah along with Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma would be a great pace-bowling combination for India and could prove to be just what the doctor ordered in the seam-friendly English conditions.