Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar reckons England underestimated the Indian team after winning the Leeds Test match by an innings and 76 runs and it cost them dearly in the Oval Test.
India went on to win by 157 runs and took a 2-1 series lead as they came up with a collective effort.
The Little Master added England’s focus has been on the Ashes series and they didn’t focus on the India series. The former batting great feels that the pressure will be now on England for the fifth Test match and India is in the driver’s seat after taking a 2-1 lead.
In fact, the current Indian team is known to bounce back whenever they have their backs against the wall and they were able to once again prove their mettle after losing the Leeds Test. The visitors ticked the right boxes as all the players contributed to the team’s win.
Rohit Sharma scored a masterpiece knock of 127 runs, Shardul Thakur contributed with both bat and ball whereas Jasprit Bumrah bowled a fiery spell on the final day.
Sunil Gavaskar said while talking to Aaj Tak, “Pressure will be on Root in the fifth Test at Manchester because India will be heading into that match with a 2-1 psychological advantage. Another big mistake of the England team and English media was that they were talking about the Ashes series and how they want to play in that series. They should have focused on the present challenge from India instead. England underestimated the Indian team, and it eventually cost them dearly in the series as they cannot win the series now.”
The former Indian opening batsman feels the useful contribution from the Indian tailenders was crucial for India’s win. Shardul Thakur scored 60 whereas Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav were able to chip in with 24 and 25 runs respectively and helped India propel their lead past the 350-run mark.
“If India had made only 380 runs in their second innings, England would have had to chase a score of around 280. That would have meant less pressure on them as compared to chasing 368. So those useful contributions from the tail were very crucial. First, we saw in Lords and now in this Test match.”
Gavaskar added that as Indian bowlers scored the vital runs down the order, they also grew in confidence.
“When bowlers score some runs in the lower order, then their confidence usually goes up even when they come back to bowl in the following innings. I am very delighted that India won a Test match at Oval after 50 years.”
The fifth and final Test match will take place at Old Trafford, Manchester from September 10.