Former West Indies legendary fast bowler Michael Holding reckons India are firm favorites and they should win the series convincingly against England. Holding, who was known as Whispering death during his halcyon days, stated that India had started the series as favorites and they remain so after the first Test match.
India dominated the opening Test match at Trent Bridge as they needed only 157 runs to win on the final day but rain played killjoy to wash out the entire day. The visitors bowlers were up to the mark as they were able to skittle out the hosts for a meager score of 183 runs in the first innings and they were able to put their noses ahead after scoring 278 runs and taking a lead of 95 runs.
“India started the series as favourites, and they remain favourites. They should win the series handsomely,” Mid-Day quoted Holding as saying.
“I find no reason why India cannot win the series. They have already acclimatised with the conditions the team is in the UK since June for the WTC final. They should concentrate on playing without worrying about the result. They have a well-balanced side of young and experienced cricketers,” he added.
Indian bowlers were right on the money and troubled England batsmen right throughout the game. Jasprit Bumrah returned to form as he scalped nine wickets after going wicketless in the WTC final against the Kiwis. Furthermore, Mohammed Shami snared three wickets whereas Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur also impressed with their bowling.
“India are looking good with Jasprit Bumrah returning to form. Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj look promising. Mohammed Shami is an experienced campaigner. I am sure the Indian pacers will be able to utilise the English conditions well,” he said.
India has the right balance in the team whereas England’s veteran fast bowler Stuart Broad has been ruled out for the entire series due to calf tear whereas James Anderson is doubtful due to tight quad. Thus, India will have the advantage in the second Test, which will be played at Mecca of Cricket, Lord’s from August 12.