India displayed a great deal of grit and passion to come from behind to win the second test in Lords. It will go down as one of the most iconic matches that India has won on foreign shores. To take ten wickets in the last two sessions established how potent and skilled this bowling line-up is.
At one point, Root had scored 180 not out and England had ended the third day with a slender lead. India lost quick wickets but their under-fire middle order consisting of Rahane-Pujara showed their masterclass and put up a solid partnership. However, the most incredible moment was the Bumrah-Shami partnership that set a 272 run total in the final two sessions. The fact that the bowlers went out there and picked all 10 wickets was simply phenomenal.
India is a great test team but the manner of their domination will give the England team sleepless nights. The management was bound to make changes and have done so. They have announced the squad for the third test. It has a few obvious picks while some surprises.
Malan has been recalled to the English squad after 2018. He has one first-class game under his belt in this season. However, he is one of England’s most technically solid players and has an away Ashes century which cannot be discounted. He averages around 27 in tests but has but with Crawley and Hameed both not performing at no. 3, he is England’s best shot at solidifying that top order.
Hameed did play the second test after a long hiatus but he played it at one down. With Dom Sibley having a horror run and dropped after averaging under 20 in his last 10 tests, Hameed will most likely be promoted to open with Rory Burns. It should not be forgotten that he had commenced his career as an opener and his performance in the second test shall not be held against him since he had come back into the team after close to 5 years. The selector would be hoping that his partnership clicks with Burns and they give the team a solid start.
Wood had injured his shoulder while fielding in the second innings and hardly bowled in the third innings. His services were dearly missed as was seen by the massive partnership between the Indian tailenders. England has gone for a like-for-like replacement in the form of Mahmood who can generate equivalent pace. He was impressed in the limited-overs series against Pakistan preceding this current series.
England already missing the services of Woakes and Archer in the series, their mainstay pace bowling combination. Subsequently, Broad had also picked an injury in the first test with his return being uncertain. Now, with Wood being doubtful, England did not want to take any risk with just one replacement in the form of Mahmood but cushioned it with Craig Overton. With Ollie Robinson, Overton has impressed in the few opportunities he has got so far.