London: Senior batter Virat Kohli returned to India’s playing eleven as captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first against England in the second ODI at Lord’s on Thursday. India are currently leading the three-match series 1-0.
After winning the toss, Sharma said Kohli, who missed India’s ten-wicket win in the first ODI at The Oval, replaces Shreyas Iyer in the playing eleven at number three. “Less grass for sure but looks like there is some moisture in the pitch. Looking at the size of the ground, we thought it’s better to have a score on the board.”
“It (Lord’s) is one of the best stadiums in the world, so the guys are keen to play well here. Sun is out, so perfect conditions,” said Sharma on his decision to bowl first.
Sharma further acknowledged the presence of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah as well as the wicketkeeping skills of Rishabh Pant playing a part in the victory in the first ODI. “They are proper bowlers, no matter what the format is. Gives us a different dimension and can bowl in any phase of the game. Always nice to have a bowler like him in the squad.”
“I thought it was quite challenging (to keep wickets), as in England, the ball tends to move even after passing the stumps. He (Pant) did take some really good catches. They were very important for us.”
England skipper Jos Buttler said they are unchanged from the crushing loss in the first ODI and hoped for his batters to survive the early phase of the match. “Seems like a bit of moisture and might be tricky early on, if we can survive that, we should be fine.”
“I think we’ve got to move on and just think it (the first ODI loss) as one of those off-days. We always think that batting is our main strength and one game isn’t going to change it.”
Buttler also reflected on England’s return to Lord’s exactly three years after lifting the 2019 Cricket World Cup, defeating New Zealand in a thrilling final. “Special time it was (World Cup win), anytime you’re playing at Lord’s, it’s a great feeling.”
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (c/wk), Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Craig Overton, Brydon Carse and Reece Topley.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Prasidh Krishna.