The England cricket team is in a bit of turmoil at the moment. After the weather Gods worked in their favour during the first match at Nottingham, calamity struck at the home of cricket Lord’s. Not only were England unable to prevent India’s tail from wagging on the final day and eke out a total too high for them to chase, they also couldn’t save the Test in 60 odd overs.
None of the batsmen failed to get anything going except captain Joe Root who has shone impressively during the series. Former India batting great VVS Laxman is of the opinion that the next three Tests could prove to be really long for Joe Root and co. After India won the Lord’s Test by 151 runs, they took an easy 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The onus is now on the England side to show character at home.
Writing in a column for Times of India, Laxman mentioned that the England batsmen have been unconvincing and do not inspire much hope.
“As brilliantly as Joe Root played in the first innings, he is practically waging a lone battle. Apart from Jonny Bairstow, no one inspires any hope, and I fear it could be a long three Tests ahead for the home side. From here on, I’d regard anything less than a comprehensive series win for India as a shock result,” VVS Laxman stated.
The legendary batsman also heaped tons of praise on Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane who did a fine job in the middle order in India’s second innings. The duo had been under fire after poor string of performances this year and didn’t inspire much confidence. However, when India were feeling the heat after the England bowlers got rid of the top order pretty quickly, Rahane and Pujara played stunning knocks to help the team wade the waters.
Pujara was patient, as usual and scored 45 runs. Meanwhile, Rahane ended up scoring a 61 and this wonderful partnership later helped the likes of Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah to open their wrists and start smashing the England bowlers. Laxman said that Pujara and Rahane’s return to form could only be an additional boost for the side.
“When the occasion so demanded in the second innings, the seasoned duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane hinted at a return to their best rhythm, which will further exacerbate England’s worries,” he concluded.