In the third test at Headingley, India will be going into the match with high confidence. The visitors were able to script a historic win in the second Test despite being behind in the game. Hence, VVS Laxman feels that team India should make most of this advantage on Day 1 in order to push England onto the back foot.
The England team is having a tough time in Test cricket lately. Their batting has not been able to score runs. Their batting lineup is solely dependent on their captain Joe Root. Arguably, Root is in the form of his life. He has scored the most percentage of runs in a calendar year for his team. The England captain is also on route to break the most test runs scored in a calendar year. But he doesn’t have the support of other batsmen on the team. England have brought Dawid Malan in the side in order to strengthen their batting.
England are also suffering from a lot of injuries. Their first-choice pacers Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes were ruled out due to injuries before the series. The veteran Stuart Broad was also ruled out after the first test due to a calf injury. Now, their express pace bowler Mark Wood has also suffered a shoulder injury. England are also without their premium all-rounder Ben Stokes who has taken an indefinite break from cricket.
England are on the cricketing and mental back foot: VVS Laxman
In such a scenario, Virat Kohli and his men would like to make full use of this advantage. They have the best chance to win a test series in England after 14 years.
Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman also feels that India can make use of this advantage and force England to go on the backfoot. If India dominates Day 1, they will have a great chance of winning the test match.
In his column for the Times of India, Laxman wrote, “A week is a long time in international sport, but this period between the second and third Tests would have given England and India time to recoup physically and mentally after the enervating, compelling contest at Lord’s. The force is clearly with the visitors, especially after the drama that unfolded on the final day. England are on the cricketing and mental back foot, so the first point of order for Virat Kohli’s team will begin the third Test strongly and reopen some of the wounds that might still be festering.”
“If India can make a strong statement on Day One, be it with bat or ball, I foresee another English capitulation. Already handicapped by the absence of several key personnel, Eng will make forced and tactical changes to the playing eleven. Mark Wood’s unavailability will be a big setback because he possesses the additional yards of pace no other England bowler can summon, and a business-like approach by India will rekindle the gremlins of self-doubt that must be gnawing at England,” Laxman added.
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