Virat Kohli questions mentality of Indian top order

Surrey’s Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes replace Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes respectively

India vs England 2nd Test Lords: Young Arjun Tendulkar was again spotted bowling to India captain Virat Kohli in the nets ahead of the crucial Lord's Test. England will make a last-minute decision on that after seeing the pitch, which was kept under a tarpaulin sheet for much of yesterday amid fears that...

Virat Kohli and his men though might now have to deal with the seam and swing of the English pacers, under overcast conditions.

In this summer's opening scene, when England won the knife-edge match at Edgbaston, India's batting was a one-man show.

'But it's about backing it up now, looking for consistency in back-to-back games, and this is an opportunity to do that'. Under sunny skies, regularly interrupted by large banks of innocuous high-flying clouds, both sides go through their final practices - as groundstaff get on with all the last-minute jobs that are required to ready the sport's most famous colosseum for match day.

"When the wicket wears off, the spinners can come into play as well", Kohli said. He will replace Dawid Malan, who was poor with both the bat and at the slips in the first Test. "So we'll turn up tomorrow, see if it looks any different, and then make that decision", he added. "Opposition players are allowed to play well and they definitely did that at Edgbaston, so it's just about combatting that as a team and making sure that when we get our opportunities to go big, someone takes the game by the scruff of the neck".

That said, given the nature of the pitch at Lord's and England spin troubles, the visitors might play Kuldeep Yadav alongside Ashwin.

In Pope they have a batsman who has been in superb form for County Championship leaders Surrey so far this season with 684 runs at a huge average of 85.50, including three centuries and a top score of 158 not out.

England would also like to see an improved batting performance.

We feel Shikhar Dhawan too could make way for C Pujara, who was surprisingly left out in the first Test.

Addressing the media at the press conference before the match, Kohli admitted that it is tempting him to play two spinners on this wicket but the rains would have surely made the Indian captain change his mind.

But he was wary of playing an extra batsman at Lord's.

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