Lets face it, if it wasn’t for England winning the Test match, Virat Kohli would have easily won the man of the match award (rather that England’s Sam Curran) for his first innings century, as his knock was imperious and fully underlined his credentials of being the best batsman in the world at the moment.
Such was Kohli’s dominance, it looks hard to see past him repeating the feat and again being Top Indian batsman in the 2nd Test, starting at Lord’s on Thursday (9th August).
Such was the quality of the innings, it would have been worthy of taking the man of the match award every day of the week under normal circumstances – but such was the all out action and up and down nature of the 1st Test, meant these weren’t normal circumstances. It was a bonkers, thoroughly enjoyable match.
Going into Thursday’s 2nd Test match, and it’s no surprise to see that Kolhi is the favourite in the betting to be Top Indian Batsman, he is as short as 7/4 with some bookmakers, with Betway having him at 2/1.
We are here! Let's start our preparation for the 2nd Test. #ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/p9giJ6180z
— BCCI (@BCCI) 7 August 2018
Remarkably, and this might sum up the rest of India’s batsmen at the moment, Cheteshwar Pujara is the second favourite in the betting, at 9/2, and he isn’t even confirmed as in the team – although common consensus is that he will play.
Kolhi’s India team will be looking to level the series at 1-a-piece at Lord’s on Thursday, and they are 9/5 to win the Test. Joe Root’s England side are 21/20, with the Draw at 10/3.
India’s main selections dilemma seems to be who to leave out for Pujara to probably come back in, while trying to decide whether to go in with 2 spinners or not.
England have brought in youngster Ollie Pope, in place of t he dropped Dawid Malan, and have put him in the line up at No.3, despite him batting at 6 for his county side.
England’s only other selection issue is the spinner conundrum as well, as they decide whether replace Ben Stokes with either Chris Woakes in a like-for-like swap, or recall Moeen Ali and go with the twin spin option.
Given the way Sam Curran performed at Edgbaston, Joe Root now knows he has a third seam bowler he can reply on, which opens the door slightly more for a Moeen recall – although I expect England will probably play safe and go with Woakes.