Incessant rain washes out first two sessions of play

Lynette Rowe
August 9, 2018

As India take on England in the second Test match at Lord's, starting Thursday (August 9), the tourists would expect their floundering batsmen to take more responsibility in pursuit of a series-levelling victory.

Play was scheduled to start at 11:00 BST, but steady rain kept the covers on the pitch and prevented the toss at 10:30.

Malan was replaced by 20-year-old Ollie Pope, who is set to make his debut.

After losing the first Test by 31 runs, India will look to settle scores in the second Test match and all eyes were on skipper Virat Kohli prior to the start of the match.

Showers are forecast for much of the day.

Kohli recently surpassed banned cricketer Steve Smith to become the top-ranked batsman in ICC Test Batting rankings, after the first Test against England at Edgbaston in which he scored a century and a fifty. "Nice to know we are doing the right things, but it's about taking those chances when they come", he added.

Root confirmed Wednesday that Pope would bat at number four but that England would delay a decision on whether to play Ali or Woakes instead of Stokes until the morning of the match, with the uncapped Jamie Porter released from the 13-man squad.

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Kohli was also asked, perhaps a little harshly, if he had failed to inspire his team-mates.

"From outside it looks very bad, especially as it is Test cricket and we are playing in England where it is anyway hard".

Ishant Sharma has taken 4+ wickets in three of his last four Test innings in England; including his five-wicket haul at Edgbaston in England's second innings. I'm not sure, having played quite a lot here, if it will change a huge amount.

On the other end of the scenario, young Ollie Pope made his first class debut in previous year March and has been running a sensational form for Surrey since then, averaging 85 in the County Championship. He has reached a 1000 first-class runs in just 15 matches and is the first division's stand-out batsman this season with 684 runs at 85. Root said that dropped catches in Birmingham were a concern against a quality side like India.

"I'm looking forward to him, more than anything, just going out there and being himself - and playing exactly as he has done throughout this summer". "He (Kohli) has got the game to survive anywhere, I think he's got the best technique of anyone in world cricket", the former Australia global said.

"I I will tell him to enjoy the occasion, and not get too many runs", Kohli jokingly added.

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