India vs England, Lord’s Test: Today will be a real test of character for India and Virat Kohli: VVS Laxman

As Virat Kohli’s India took the field on Saturday at Lord’s after an insipid batting performance on a truncated first day’s play, it was with the huge challenge of trying to keep hosts England from running away with a match-winning lead. On Friday, after being put in to bat under grey skies and on a seaming track, India were bowled out for 107 in 35.2 overs.

LORD’S TEST SCORECARD | DAY THREE UPDATES

According to former India batsman VVS Laxman, today’s play will seriously test their patience as they seek to stay alive in the second Test.

“They have to play with patience. Its not something that will happen in the first half an hour, hour or until lunch,” Laxman told ESPNcricinfo ahead of the third day’s play. “There will definitely be assistance for the seamers and India will be encouraged by how Ishant Sharma bowled during the second innings of the first Test, [Mohammed] Shami throughout the Birmingham Test match, and then you’ve got [Ravichandran] Ashwin also.

“In conditions that didn’t really assist the spinners, he was able to take key wickets and the manner in which he got them will be encouraging. The wicket doesn’t really matter for Kuldeep, because being a wrist-spinner he can beat the batsmen in flight.”

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Down 0-1 in the best-of-five series, India will have to mount a resounding challenge to stop England’s batsmen with conditions much easier to bat on than Friday, with clear skies and a drier surface. For Laxman, the first session was potentially decisive in the progression of this Test.

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“Its a real test of character for the Indian team and a test of captaincy for Virat Kohli, because they’ve just got 107 runs,” he said. “They have to not give away easy runs but at the same time they have to pick up wickets. Its always going to be tricky. If England don’t lose wickets early on, they have the capability to put up a lot of runs and that will put India under a lot of pressure.”