Indian Captain Virat Kohli has confirmed that all-rounder Shardul Thakur has been ruled out of the second test after suffering a hamstring injury. Just like the first test match, Virat Kohli said that the decision about Playing XI & whether Ravichandran Ashwin will be included in the squad will be taken on Thursday just an hour before India vs England Lord’s Test.
“Shardul has a strain on the left hamstring. So, he is not available for selection for the 2nd Test. But he should be okay for the 3rd Test,” Virat Kohli said at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday. However, Ashwin or Ishant who will be included in the Playing XI will be decided & revealed on the morning of India vs England Lord’s Test. Ashwin or Ishant who will feature in the Playing XI depends on the pitch conditions at Lord’s. The wicket is currently a little dry so there are chances that Ashwin could feature in the Playing XI as a second spinner.
“The good thing is that Jadeja has got runs in the first game already, so he will go into the second game confident. That already makes our batting a bit deeper, the lower-order contributed with the bat as well. Shardul brings in more batting ability but having said that, from the batsmen’s point of view, we are well placed. Pujara, Rahane, and I did not score too many, every game is an opportunity for other batsmen to step up as well,” Virat Kohli said.
However, Virat Kohli emphasized that his preference is to play with four pacers during the entire test series. “We want four-seamers or specialist bowlers. That is where we are comfortable within such conditions. But again, it will depend on the conditions and situation as we progress in the series,” he said.
“Rohit and KL played really well. So, we are comfortable with how we are placed. We do not feel that we are batsmen short if Shardul does not play. For us, it is about finding that right balance, if Shardul is not available, we will try to take 20 wickets first and we feel comfortable with how the first Test went,” he added.
However, during the second test, Virat Kohli will take extra care to avoid long spells from pacers. As slow over-rate has already cost team India two WTC points & 40% of their match fee.
“We are not pleased with the two docked points. We were just short by two overs. But that’s how it is. We have to be careful,” Virat Kohli concluded.
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