Look England seek to surpass India without Stokes at Lord’s

Look England seek to surpass India without Stokes at Lord’s

However, India may be looking at bringing back Cheteshwar Pujara into the playing XI.

The England captain said that Pope will come in as a direct replacement for Dawid Malan, with Jonny Bairstow staying at No 5 and Jos Buttler moving up one place to No 6.

How the pitch looks on Thursday morning will surely go a long way to informing that decision - on Wednesday afternoon however its appearance mostly remained a mystery, covered first by a white sheet and then by the hover cover, as part of the groundsman's final preparations. Root will wait until toss to decide whether to play a second spinner (Moeen Ali) or an extra pacer (Chris Woakes).

It will be interesting to see who England will turn to in the absence of Stokes.

"Ollie will come in and bat at four". He's obviously batted at (number) six for Surrey this season but having seen him play a little bit and you know the way his game is set up, I think it's very much transferable to bat at number four in test cricket.

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INDIAN skipper Virat Kohli gestures during a press conference. "Depending on the team balance but yeah, I think it's definitely in contention", he added.

After the pulsating drama of last week's opener in Birmingham, expectations for Lord's remain high, but with a series fascinatingly poised, five days of glorious sunshine forecast and a bountiful crop of intrigue both on and off the pitch, you wouldn't bet against it delivering.

'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. The young man apologetically walked towards the batsman to take the ball back as Rahul regained his composure soon to applaud Arjun and said "well bowled". The visitors' bowling unit impressed, picking 20 wickets for the fourth successive time on the road since the start of the year, but their batting, barring captain Kohli, was a big letdown.

"It's a good choice, a tough one too", Bharat Arun, India's bowling coach, told reporters at Lord's on Tuesday.

Root's opposite number, Virat Kohli, will hope the rest of his side can come to his aid after he nearly single-handedly kept India in the game at Edgbaston, scoring 200 runs on his own.

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