With the Test perfectly poised, former India cricketer VVS Laxman has backed Virat Kohli & Co to take an unassailable lead at the Oval. Meanwhile, the five-match series is currently tied at 1-1 after England pulled off an emphatic win at Headingley.
England recovered well to take a crucial 99-run lead from being 62/5 at one stage. Ollie Pope, who slotted in the playing XI in place of Jos Buttler, played a gritty 81-run knock while all-rounder Chris Woakes chipped in with a quick half-century.
That straight drive…has to be the shot of the match. Absolute cracker by Rohit Sharma! #ENGvIND
— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) September 4, 2021
In reply, the Indian openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma looked positive and together put up 43 runs on the board at the end of day 2’s play. With the game evenly poised, VVS Laxman has backed India to win the match. During a chat with ESPNCricinfo, Laxman said:
“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 don’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 cease this opportunity tomorrow.”
“There was no penetration for Indian bowlers” – VVS Laxman
Speaking further, VVS Laxman slammed the Indian bowlers for their lack of preparations. He suspected that either they were tired or had picked up minor niggles due to the high workload.
Indian bowlers again failed to remove the tailenders.
— Siddharth Chhaya – સિદ્ધાર્થ છાયા 🇮🇳 (@siddtalks) September 3, 2021
“The penetration wasn’t visible from the Indian bowlers. The intensity wasn’t there apart from the 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,” Laxman concluded.