With their tails up in the five-match series, Joe Root and his men will be in confident mood when they travel to Lord’s for the second Test.
Despite their thrilling win in Birmingham, England have areas of concern. Here, we look at the key areas they can improve upon.
FILL VOID LEFT BY STOKES’ ABSENCE
Ben Stokes was one of the protagonists of England’s win at Edgbaston, apart from man-of-the-match Sam Curran. The all-rounder’s bowling displays in both innings were pivotal in the hosts’ victory and it will be sorely missed at Lord’s due to his ongoing court-case over the Bristol night-club brawl.
England have recalled Chris Woakes to the line-up and he should fill the all-rounder’s spot. Woakes, though, will need to quickly find his rhythm after spending a lot of time on the sidelines of late due to injuries.
Woakes will have his task cut out in ensuring England do not miss Stokes.
STUART BROAD NEEDS TO STEP UP
James Anderson was as menacing as ever at Edgbaston while young Curran gave a terrific account of himself with the ball with his three-wicket burst in the first innings. However, Root and England must be disappointed by Stuart Broad’s contributions.
Broad went wicket-less in the first innings before snaring two in the second. For a man of his experience, his efforts left plenty to be desired. With Woakes returning from injury and Curran’s Test career just two matches old, Broad will need to get back to his best to ensure England do not slip up in the pace department.
Broad has always enjoyed bowling against India in English conditions and he will need to rewind the clock to compound India’s problems.
With batsmen from both sides found wanting in the first Test, there is plenty of concern when it comes to England’s batting.
The foremost being Alastair Cook’s form at the top. The senior batsmen fell cheaply to Ravi Ashwin in both innings in identical fashion to continue his poor Test form. Normally, a batsman in Cook’s current form would have been dropped but England have really struggled to replace Cook’s long-time opening partner Andrew Strauss and thus do not really have the luxury to question Cook’s spot. As the veteran opener showed through his century in the warm-up game for England Lions, he still has it. What he desperately needs is a big score to raise his morale and relieve some pressure off his current opening partner Keaton Jennings.
While Root’s struggles to convert his fifties into centuries continued at Edgbaston, the England skipper remains the most dependable batsman in the side along with Jonny Bairstow.
What will be a worry though, is Jos Buttler’s non-show in the first Test. The 27-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding summer so far but he could only muster one run in two innings at Birmingham. England will hope his Edgbaston effort was an aberration and not a sign of things to come in the remainder of the series.
OPPORTUNITY FOR OLLIE POPE OR MOEEN ALI
Dawid Malan was, unsurprisingly, axed after the first Test after the Middlesex batsman’s struggles for runs continuing. That he dropped some vital catches in the slip cordon would not have helped his cause.
That has given an opportunity to young Ollie Pope. The Surrey youngster is being billed as the next big thing in English cricket and it will be interesting to see if Root does give him an England debut at Lord’s.
The England skipper though, could be tempted to go in with the experienced Moeen Ali instead. Moeen’s ability to bowl off-spin which troubled India greatly in their tour of 2014 could swing it in the all-rounder’s favour at Lord’s.
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