What India can learn from Pakistan’s preparations for England tour

Lynette Rowe
August 18, 2018

Contrast this with how Virat Kohli bristled when he was reminded, for the umpteenth time, that he will not or can not play the same eleven in two consecutive Test matches. "It could mean he's more of a risky player".

England playing XI: Keaton Jennings, Alastair Cook, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

It is likely that the visitors will tweak their team combination for the third Test - the 38th combination in as many matches since Kohli took reins of the side. "These things happen with practice", Lamb, who played 79 Tests for England, said.

When India won their first series in England way back in 1971 they had eight first-class matches in the run-up to the first Test; this year, in sharp contrast, India had just one warm-up fixture and are already 2-0 down with three to play. This is where the hard part begins for India. When asked if this sowed the seeds of insecurity in some of his players, Kohli withdrew.

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The 29-year-old has been nursing an old back injury and found himself in discomfort with the pain during the second Test at Lord's which India lost by an innings and 159 runs. An average of 12.8 is tough to ignore, but for a batsman of his calibre, the team management could still afford another chance given that India need to win this game. He has seven centuries from 14 first class matches, averages almost 57 and scores his runs at a strike rate of 76.69. But, now, after the below-par performances in the initial two Tests against England, a section of people are talking about the whitewash. The only other resolve has come from the lower-middle order - Hardik Pandya and Ashwin, second and third on India's batting charts in terms of runs. We have to be confident, get ahead of the mistake, and not make it again.

Historically Trent Bridge has offered seamer-friendly tracks, hence both the teams will go in with one spinner. In India, I expect two changes. And with the forecast being a cloudy first four days, it seems hard for Kuldeep to make a cut because of the seam-friendly condition. England have a good selection headache on their hands.

Ben Stokes, fresh from his legal battles, is back in the England team, while still facing the prospect of cricketing sanctions from his home board.

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