England crushed India by an innings and 159 runs at Lord’s to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match Test series. Virat Kohli tried to chop and change his starting XI from the first game in Edgbaston to pull one over the hosts, but didn’t get the desired results.
India now find themselves in a must-win situation ahead of the third Test at Trent Bridge, and they just cannot afford to go wrong with their playing combination.
Here are three changes they might consider.
A shoulder injury sidelined India’s regular Test wicket-keeper, Wriddhiman Saha, for the England tour. As a reult, Dinesh Karthik got a golden opportunity to get into the playing XI and cement his spot. However, with scores of 0, 20, 1, and 0 in the two Tests, the right-hander has been unimpressive in front of the wickets so far.
Rishabh Pant, who came into the series as India’s back-up option with the gloves, might very well get a chance in the first team. The fact that Karthik dropped two catches in the first Test may also give Pant the edge.
There’s also the option of Pant replacing Ajinkya Rahane, who is going through a lean patch at the moment. Pant is more a batsman than a wicket-keeper, and being a left-hander, he might add a bit of variety to the line-up.
Jasprit Bumrah, the spearhead of India’s pace attack in limited-overs cricket over the past couple of years, should be available for selection. It is safe to assume that the right-arm fast bowler, who made an impressive debut in Test cricket earlier this year, will get in to the XI.
India selected Kuldeep Yadav for the Lord’s Test, but his left-arm wrist-spin was rendered ineffective due to the unfavourable conditions.
Seeing that the visitors did not have much success with two spinners in their bowling line-up, Bumrah might come in as a replacement for Yadav at Trent Bridge.
The opening batsman was dropped from the XI after the defeat at Edgbaston, where he failed to provide solidity at the top of the order.
However, a string of poor performances from Murali Vijay and KL Rahul puts Shikhar Dhawan right back into contention for the opening slot at Nottingham. Moreover, the fact that he is left-handed and has an incredible one-day record in England might also play in Dhawan’s favour.