A complete dominance in the Lord’s Test not just gave England a 2-0 series lead, but also condemned the visiting side to self-doubt and poor form. A series that has promised so much, is fast tumbling into a one-sided affair ahead of the third Test, which is set to be played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on August 18.
It took a magic spell of swing bowling – under grey skies – from James Anderson, to assert their supremacy over an Indian side that lost the game in their head and the match by an innings and 159 runs. Even in overcast conditions, to play just 35 overs is a cardinal sin and India could never recover from that horrific start.
To make matters worse, England batted under clear sunshine. The recalled all-rounder Chris Woakes made merry with an assertive 137*, while Jonny Bairstow scored 93. After picking up a huge lead, England were up against the clock, although overcast conditions once again proved to be an ally with grey skies when India batted.
Even under such conditions, surviving just 47 overs is a worry for the visitors who are struggling with poor form across the batting order. The three openers are taking turns to fail, while none of the batsmen barring captain Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara (to a small extent) have shown the temperament and skill to survive.
With Kohli battling back pain all through the Lord’s Test, there is a concern in the Indian camp over his workload and fitness ahead of this crucial Test. Even the anticipated return of fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is not able to lift the gloom and doom in the Indian camp.
With conditions set to help the host seam bowlers, England will hope to pocket the series at the first available chance and take a giant step towards a 5-0 whitewash. Even a fully-fit Kohli doesn’t look capable of stopping the English juggernaut at this moment!
Players to watch: Jos Buttler has threatened to take off this series but hasn’t done yet and this could be his chance. Repeated failures away from home, put pressure on Ajinkya Rahane in what could be his last-chance saloon!
Stat attack: England have won their last five home Tests against India. The last time they won six in a row against them was in 1967.
The hosts have won six of their last eight Tests at this venue and their record against sub-continent sides at Trent Bridge, Nottingham stands at Played 11, Win 5, Draw 4, Loss 2.
Whereas, India have lost nine of their last 11 away Tests against England and Anderson and Stuart Broad aggregate 97 wickets in 17 Tests between them.