VVS Laxman predicts the winner of the England vs India 4th Test at Oval.
ENGvsIND: With the England vs India 4th Test match evenly poised at the stumps on day two, the former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman has made his early guess for the winner of the match. Keeping his faith in a world-class Indian batting unit, Laxman feels that Virat Kohli and Co. will emerge out as the clear winner of the test match.
However, Laxman did assert that if India gets collapsed in a flatter wicket here in Oval, this will be a huge chagrin for Indian cricket.
England managed to extend their lead to 99 runs at the end of their first innings after surviving a mini-collapse. India reduced the hosts to 62-5, at one point, but valuable contributions from Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes helped the team to take a sizable lead.
The Indian openers also looked comfortable at negotiating the final session of the day before stumps. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul did manage to held onto the wicket and amassed 43 runs at the stumps on day two. Both the batter reduced English lead to 56 runs on the second day itself.
In a conversation with ESPNcricinfo, VVS Laxman stated that:
“I feel everyone in that Indian batting lineup will be eagerly looking forward to contributing in this innings. They are all world-class players and I am sure they’ll come good. I am backing India to win this Test match… If India doesn’t bat well tomorrow, they’ll be really, really disappointed because you can’t get a flatter wicket in England at the moment. They’ll be disappointed if they don’t seize this opportunity tomorrow.”
The surface in Oval is pretty flatter to bat on and the bowlers had to put a couple of extra inches to deceive the batter. Oval is known for his good bounce and pace, however, the amount of swing is still comparatively very low. The spinners will come into the game on the fourth and fifth day of the test match.
With a flat batting pitch on offer, the Indian batter will feel comfortable putting up a good second innings total. A healthy lead after surpassing the English score will help the visitors.
Indian bowlers might have sustained minor niggles: VVS Laxman
The veteran looked a bit disappointed with the Indian bowling. Laxman feels that the bowlers were not penetrative enough in the latter part of the day. Although they picked regular wickets and restricted English tale to go away with the lead, the pacers looked tired or might have picked some minor niggles, said Laxman.
“The penetration wasn’t visible from the Indian bowlers. The intensity wasn’t there apart from a couple of spells where the ball zipped through the surface. Somewhere I feel Bumrah and even Siraj are tired. Even Shardul Thakur was less penetrative. So I feel it was a combination of tiredness and niggles.”