The preparations of the second Test between England and India, scheduled to get underway from August 12 at the Lord’s Cricket Stadium, are in full swing. Ahead of the crucial fixture of the five-match series, India’s fielding coach R Sridhar came with a unique drill for wicketkeepers Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, batter Hanuma Vihari and pacer Prasidh Krishna.
In a video uploaded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) official Twitter handle, Sridhar can be seen batting against Krishna, with Pant keeping, while both Saha and Vihari are juggling a couple of balls across the pitch towards each other.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 10, 2021
Injury scares in both camps
Ahead of the second fixture, both England and India have been hit by injuries as veteran pacer Stuart Broad injured his right calf and is expected to undergo scans, before a final decision regarding his participation in the Lord’s Test is finalized, whereas Indian pacer Shardul Thakur injured his hamstring in the build-up to the second Test and is likely to be replaced by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who was not named in the XI at Trent Bridge.
During the first encounter, England did not play even a single designated spinner, while India went ahead with a four-pronged pace attack and a lone spinner in Ravindra Jadeja. That Ashwin was not considered despite being in top form over the last year left a few surprised, however, Trent Bridge’s pace-friendly reputation had a part to play in his non-selection.
England, on the other hand, in Broad’s absence, have pace options in James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Sam Curran, all three featured in their XI in the series-opener, while they also have all-rounder Craig Overton and pacer Mark Wood in the wings. Overton last played for England during the 2019 Ashes at Old Trafford in a contest that the visitors won by 185 runs.
He was also named in England’s squad for the two-Test home series against New Zealand, however, he did not play in either of those. As for the second Test against India, Wood remains to be the preferred choice over Overton as Broad’s replacement.