Michael Atherton weighed in on England’s chances of going 2-1 up and whether the pitch will turn up to assist Indian bowlers on the final day.
England is up against a herculean task– chasing down 368 against India at the Oval to go 2-1 up in the series. A century from Rohit Sharma and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, and Rishabh Pant in India’s second innings saw India post a strong total of 466, which means that England needs to pull off a record highest run chase at the venue.
Michael Atherton: India’s Attack Is Without Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, And Ravichandran Ashwin On A Flat Batting Track Which May Give England Advantage
Out of those 368, openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed have knocked off 77 runs, and with another 291 left to achieve in three sessions, Day 5 shapes up to be a fascinating contest between the two teams on Monday. India posted their highest total of the series, but England delivered a strong opening partnership themselves in response.
Former England captain Michael Atherton weighed in on England’s chances of going 2-1 up and whether the pitch will turn up to assist Indian bowlers on the final day.
“It’s pretty flat, there’s not much happening, and then you look at the shape of India’s attack. No Shami, no Ishant, no Ashwin, they seemed very reliant in that first innings on Bumrah especially. How much will Jadeja have an influence? He may have an impact, (but) it’s a good pitch,” Michael Atherton said while commentating on Sky Sports.
The veteran also said that in the absence of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Ravichandran Ashwin, Team India has been a bit too reliant on Jasprit Bumrah in the bowling department.
Former England captain Michael Atherton reckoned that the pitch at the Kennington Oval for the fourth Test against India hasn’t deteriorated much. Going on the fifth day, the Brits need 291 runs to win with all their 10 wickets in hand. Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns have already taken the Three Lions off to a decent start with an unbeaten 77-run partnership for the opening wicket.
Michael Holding Would Have Preferred Ravichandran Ashwin As The Pitch Isn’t Playing Too Many Tricks
Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding agrees with Michael Atherton’s views, stating that pace doesn’t promise to cause England as much trouble as spinners, which is why India might miss the services of Ravichandran Ashwin on a Day 5 pitch.
“I don’t really see this pitch playing too many tricks. I didn’t see the England seamers create too many problems… and the India seamers I don’t expect to do much better. And Jadeja, I don’t know. I would have preferred Ashwin if you’re talking about just the bowling,” Holding said on Sky Sports.
India is missing the services of senior bowler Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami with their ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin once again was ignored ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. Umesh Yadav, who came in place of Ishant Sharma, led India’s bowling charts with 3/67 and Ravindra Jadeja too chipped in with two wickets.
Michael Holding feels that he would have preferred Ravichandran Ashwin and noted how the England bowlers performed on the Oval pitch. The series is tied at 1-1 as India won by 151 runs at Lord’s only for England to hit back with an innings and 76 runs triumph at Headingley.
With niggles to Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma, as captain Virat Kohli had pointed out at the toss, India included Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav in the XI which paid rich dividends as both of them had an impact.