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India tour of England: Virat Kohli’s fitness in focus as India look to secure ODI series

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India are aiming to secure the ODI leg of their tour to England when the two teams clash in the second match at Lord’s on Thursday (July 14).

The Men in Blue handed the Three Lions a humiliating 10-wicket defeat in the first ODI to take an early lead in the three-match series. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah setup the game for India as he returned with the figures of 6/19 at the Oval on July 12. Other Indian bowlers rallied around Bumrah as England were bundled out for just 110 before Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan took India home without any loss.

In spite of his brilliance with the ball, Bumrah said: “When things go well you can point out a lot of things that yes this went well, but I try to keep a balanced mind, not to go too far ahead. Yes, it was a good day, but we have to start again in the next game from zero.”

Former India captain Virat Kohli missed the first match and Shreyas Iyer was named at number three in the lineup. Kohli was forced to watch the match from the sidelines as he sustained a mild groin strain. All eyes will be on Kohli as fans would be anxiously waiting to know his availability for the second ODI.

The Indian think tank would not want to tinker with their winning combination, especially the bowlers who were brilliant with their spells. Mohammed Shami snared three wickets and Prasidh Krishna took one. Captain Rohit Sharma would want to give Shreyas Iyer some game time in the middle as he didn’t get the opportunity to bat in the first game.

England, on the other hand, would be aiming to put their best foot forward in the must-win second ODI. The likes of Jason Roy, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone, who were all dismissed for ducks in the first ODI, would look to forget that outing in the second match. All eyes will be on captain Jos Buttler as to how he manages to guide England, the 2019 champions, to play their aggressive brand of cricket.

Former England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, while speaking on Sky Sports, backed Buttler, saying: “Having had the experience both playing and leading previously that Jos has had, he will see this as an opportunity in that changing room to reiterate a very clear and strong message about where they are going and what they’re doing. I can guarantee you that when you lose, everybody in the changing room listens. A clear-cut message from your leader at times like this, and for your senior players to embody it, is crucial.”

Squads (from):

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.

England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey.

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