As the rain fell at Lord's on Thursday, Sam Curran and Ollie Pope, who is due to make his England debut could only watch from a balcony in the pavilion.

London (AFP) - Rain meant there was no play before lunch on the first day of the second Test between England and India at Lord’s on Thursday.

Early morning overcast skies in north London eventually gave way to gentle but persistent rain which was sufficient to ensure the pitch and square at the ‘home of cricket’ remained fully covered.

The match had been due to start at 11:00am but with rain still falling no play was possible in the morning session.

Lunch was brought forward by 30 minutes to 12:30pm in the hope of a prompt resumption come the scheduled second session of play.

England lead the five-match series 1-0 after a 31-run victory in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.

They will, however, make at least two changes to their side.

England captain Joe Root confirmed on Wednesday that Ollie Pope, a 20-year-old Surrey batsman, would make his Test debut in place of the dropped Dawid Malan.

The hosts will also be without Ben Stokes, who took three wickets on Sunday’s fourth and final day at Edgbaston, including the prize scalp of India captain Virat Kohli, because of the Durham all-rounder’s ongoing trial for affray in Bristol.

England have yet to decide whether Chris Woakes, a fellow pace-bowling all-rounder, or off-spinner Moeen Ali will replace Stokes.

Neither England nor India, who might also make changes, are obliged to confirm their teams until the toss takes place.