Team India missed the opportunity of the taking an early lead in the Test series as they went down by 31 runs in the opening Test against the hosts despite their skipper Virat Kohli's heroics. The visitors will be keen to level the series at Lord's as England will be playing without their premier all-rounder Ben Stokes. The Indian batting needs to step up for that to happen as no player except Kohli looked comfortable enough to survive for longer enough in the Birmingham Test. India batsmen need to produce a better show in the second Test to give a tough fight to England. Joe Root and his men would start confident thanks to their win in first Test. However, Lord's has been a good hunting ground for India. They won a Test here in 2014 under MS Dhoni's captaincy. We expect Kohli and Co. to give a good performance in the second Test.
Best economical pick - Sam Curran, the Man of the Match in the previous Test against India, arrived at the international stage with an all-round performance in the first Test. His knock of 63 in the second innings of the first Test proved to be crucial for England. Besides his handy knock in both the innings, Curran also shone in the bowling department with 4-for in the first innings.
Top captains & vice captains - Is there any question to be asked about the Indian skippers form? After a horrendous 2014 England tour in which he scored just 134 runs in the 10 innings that he batted in, Virat Kohli scored 200 runs on a surface where all other Indian batsmen were struggling in. He is now to the number one Test batsman in addition to his number 1 ranking in ODIs. England's Test captain Joe Root will don the number 3 spot in the second Test against India. Off late, Root has been in top-notch form and is expected to be an imposing threat to India's hopes at Lord's for the second Test. Thus, no questions asked, Root will England's key player in the second Test if England want to be 2-0 up in the series.
Smart pick - Ravichandran Ashwin picked up some important wickets in the first Test match at Edgbaston. He has taken 4 and 3 wickets in the first and second innings respectively. Ashwin dismissed Alastair Cook in both the innings to create a platform for the other bowlers. The Indian skipper, Virat Kohli may expect the same performance from him to destroy the England batting line-up.
Cautious Pick - Ajinkya Rahane, has been in poor form. He has been one of the most consistent players, especially in the overseas conditions. However, he managed to score just 17 runs in the first game that affected India much heavily.
My XI - Virat Kohli (Captain), Joe Root (Vice-Captain), R Ashwin, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ishant Sharma, Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, Lokesh Rahul, Jos Buttler