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Michael Vaughan

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE: Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain on Sunday stated that it would be ‘sensible’ to move matches against Pakistan to UAE rather than completely cancelling the tour. England is scheduled to travel to Rawalpindi in October for two Twenty20 Internationals, in what will be their first visit to Pakistan since 2005.

Michael Vaughan’s statement came after the Blackcaps abandoned their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert on Friday.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

Michael Vaughan: It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE Rather Than Cancelling The Tour

New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. The side was to play hosts on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.

Michael Vaughan has suggested a way to salvage England’s upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan, which looks in doubt after the New Zealand men’s team abandoned a white-ball tour of the Asian country citing security concerns moments before toss in the 1st ODI between the two teams. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is under pressure not to send its men’s and women’s teams to Pakistan and has asked its security experts for a report.

Michael Vaughan reckoned the series should be moved to the UAE “if it’s deemed unsafe to travel”. Although some international cricket and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches have happened in the country, major Test nations are yet to travel to Pakistan for full-fledged tours. West Indies are scheduled to travel to Pakistan later this year. Australia is also due to tour Pakistan early next year.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It would seem sensible to me to try and move England’s Pakistan games to the UAE rather than cancel the tour if it’s deemed unsafe to travel .. !! Hopefully the games for the Men’s & Women teams can take place rather than a full cancellation,” tweeted Michael Vaughan.

For years, Pakistan has played most of their home matches in the UAE, which has become a home away from the original home for its players after international teams refused to travel to the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009. But it is to be seen whether the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will agree to take their games back to UAE after having hosted some international teams at home.

Six years after the 2009 incident, Zimbabwe became the first Full Member to play in the country in 2015 in a limited-overs series. While not an international match, the 2017 Pakistan Super League final was undoubtedly the biggest game played in Pakistan since 2009. In the same year, captained by Faf du Plessis, a World XI side played the home side in a three-match T20I series, which they lost 2-1.

New Zealand Team Arrived In Dubai After Tour Cancellation

Earlier in the day, the New Zealand men’s cricket team arrived in UAE’s city Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight. The contingent of as many as 34 players and support staff are now settling into their Dubai hotel and undergoing their 24-hour period of self-isolation.
New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

Of this group, 24 will return to their country New Zealand over the next week or so, as flights and MIQ rooms in New Zealand become available. The MIQ arrangements initially booked for all of these squad members at the end of the Pakistan tour will now be cancelled. The balance of the touring party will remain in the UAE and join up with the Black Caps T20 World Cup squad, ahead of that marquee tournament which will commence on October 17.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images

ECB Chief Tom Harrison Says IPL Not To Be Blamed For Manchester Test Cancellation

Tom Harrison, ECB chairman declared that the fifth Test between England and India was not cancelled due to the rescheduled Indian Premier League 2021. The final Test, with India leading 2-1 following victory at the Oval last time out, was originally scheduled to begin on Friday morning at Old Trafford but positive Covid tests among members of India’s backroom team led to some uncertainty over its commencement.

India head coach Ravi Shastri had tested positive during the fourth Test, which subsequently forced three other members of the country’s staff into isolation. Another support staff member tested positive on Thursday and doubt then lingered over whether the fifth Test would go ahead.

Tom Harrison insisted the IPL has nothing to do with the cancelled fifth Test
Tom Harrison insisted the IPL has nothing to do with the cancelled fifth Test ( Image: Getty Images)

Tom Harrison Denies Suggestions That The Situation Was Created By IPL 2021

However, it was confirmed later that evening that India’s players had returned negative tests, so the green light had been given for the Old Trafford fixture to get going. However, just two hours before play was meant to start on Friday – the fifth Test was dramatically called off.

The outbreak of the virus was deemed to be the reason for the cancelled Test, with ECB chief executive Tom Harrison vehemently denying suggestions it was due to the new start date of the Indian Premier League. The rescheduled IPL begins on September 19.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

“This is not a situation which has been created by the rescheduled IPL,” Harrison told BBC Sport. “I fundamentally do not believe that for a second.”

The IPL was postponed in May after a rise in Covid cases in India, and the league will continue in the United Arab Emirates. Speculation linking the cancelled Test with the rescheduled IPL comes after the Board for Control for Cricket in India made an informal request to the ECB in May asking to alter the series schedule to accommodate for the domestic league.

Michael Vaughan’s Claims Dismissed By Tom Harrison

And former England captain Michael Vaughan believes the decision to cancel the fifth Test is due to the money tied up in the IPL, with players worried about contracting the virus and being ruled out of matches. However, Tom Harrison dismissed the claims and insisted mental health was one of the factors considered before agreeing to cancel the Test.

“This Indian cricket team are as passionate about Test cricket as fans in our country are, and as our cricket team are as well,” Harrison added.

“India simply felt that they got to a point where they weren’t able to take to the field. That is understandable. As administrators, we need to be really clear that mental health has to be a priority for us when we’re thinking about the length of tours and the conditions under which people were expected to perform.”

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

It remains to be seen how the series will be finalised, as India were leading 2-1 and they haven’t won a Test series on these shores since 2007. While he is confident the ECB made the correct decision, Tom Harrison admitted he was disappointed with the situation.

“There is a real disappointment because we wanted to have a crack at this Indian team,” the ECB chief added.

“Players put an awful lot of work into preparing themselves mentally and physically to be ready, and we were ready. It will take a little bit of from them to come back down from that emotional let-down.”

England will next face Pakistan at T20 level on October 13 while Indian cricketers will not have any international commitments before the T20I World Cup. News that the Manchester Test match wouldn’t begin as originally planned came in hours before the scheduled toss. The development came on the back of intense discussions between the BCCI and the ECB after India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar returned a positive Covid-19 test.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan Puzzled By Moeen Ali’s Appointment As Vice Captain In The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan had plenty of complaints about the national team’s performance against India in the Oval Test, but Moeen Ali becoming vice-captain was also one of Michael Vaughan’s main concerns. He did not ignore it amid the hosts’ underwhelming batting display in both innings.

The former England captain Michael Vaughan questioned Moeen Ali’s appointment as he has not even been a regular member of the side for the past two years. The 46-year old Michael Vaughan believes it was unfair to Rory Burns and instead puts extra pressure on Moeen Ali, who is still regaining his form.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Questions Reason Behind Appointing Moeen Ali As Vice-Captain Ahead Of Rory Burns On His Home Ground

Moeen Ali, a veteran of 64 Tests since debuting in 2014 has been in and out of the England team in the last 2 years. He didn’t play a Test in 2020 and played only 5 in 2019 where he managed only 90 runs averaging a pathetic 10 besides taking 18 scalps averaging 28.89. In 2021, he picked 14 scalps averaging 37.5 but disappointed again with the bat managing only 132 runs in 4 Tests averaging 18.86.

“I always question some of their thinking. Why did they appoint Moeen as vice-captain? He has barely been in the side for two years. It would have been a nice little boost for Burns, who is a regular in the side, to be made vice-captain this week on his home ground. It was a decision that puzzled me and perhaps put more pressure on Moeen who is still making his way back in the game,” Michael Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

Rory Burns Getty Images
Rory Burns Getty Images

Jos Buttler’s absence from the fourth Test made Rory Burns a contender to become Joe Root’s deputy. However, at the last minute, the management thrust Moeen Ali into the position. Unfortunately, Moeen Ali’s performances weren’t responsible or significant enough.

Moeen Ali Didn’t Perform As Expected

The home side needed Moeen Ali to step up more than ever in the fourth Test at the Oval. He made 35 runs in the first innings before playing an awful shot, leading to his downfall. England lost their upper hand after his dismissal and a shot at a substantial first-innings lead.

Moeen Ali(ANI)
Moeen Ali(ANI)

The veteran all-rounder did not score in the second innings and delivered an underwhelming performance with the ball. Though the 33-year old wasn’t required to bowl in the first, he had figures of 26-0-118-2. England eventually crashed to a 157-run loss on the final day despite the openers giving them a bright start while chasing 368.

India crushed England by 157 runs in the fourth Test to register their first win at The Oval after 50 years. With the victory, India also took a 2-1 lead in the 5-match Test series. Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, and Umesh Yadav all contributed with the ball, as England lost a cluster of wickets on the final afternoon to decisively swing the match.

India 191 (Thakur 57, Kohli 50, Woakes 4-55) and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83) beat England 290 (Pope 81, Woakes 50, Umesh 3-76) and 210 (Hameed 63, Burns 50, Umesh 3-60) by 157 runs

Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.
Shardul Thakur Photo: AFP.

Michael Vaughan Staggered By Decision To Pick Rohit Sharma Not Shardul Thakur As MoM In The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan was ‘staggered’ by the Pataudi Trophy commentary panel’s decision to pick Rohit Sharma, and not Shardul Thakur, as Man of the Match for the 4th Test at the oval. The former England captain Michael Vaughan said the latter, who impacted the match four times with his all-around skills, deserved the award even more.

Rohit Sharma was the highest scorer of the match, amassing an outstanding 127 in the second innings. Shardul Thakur, on the other hand, made two aggressive half-centuries (57 of 36 and 60 of 72), repairing a collapse in the first innings and stamping India’s advantage in the second. He also picked up four critical wickets in the game, including that of Joe Root on Monday.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Shardul Thakur Should Have Been Awarded Man Of The Match

Rohit Sharma was named Man of the Match in the 4th Test for his brilliant century but he said that Shardul Thakur deserved it too for his all-around performance. Shardul Thakur was the top scorer for India in the first innings with 57 off only 36 balls. He then picked up the wicket of England’s top scorer in their first innings-Ollie Pope(81).

Shardul Thakur then scored 60 of 72 balls in the 2nd innings and picked up crucial breakthroughs of opener Rory Burns (50) and England skipper Joe Root (36).

“Ahh, he should have got Man of the Match. No question. Rohit played great but Shardul Thakur impacted the game four times – twice with the bat and twice with the ball,” said Michael Vaughan.

“Key wickets, that massive wicket of Ollie Pope (in the first innings), and then (in the second innings) Rory Burns first and then the captain. Two fifties – [India were] 117-7, he changed the course of the game in the first innings,” said Michael Vaughan.

“Under pressure in the second innings, he went in and got another fifty. I am staggered he wasn’t Man of the Match,” Michael Vaughan said in an interaction with Cricbuzz after the match.

India was tasked with defending over 290 runs on a batting-friendly Day 5. The hosts started patiently but both Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav couldn’t get any wickets.

Here, Shardul Thakur got the breakthrough on his first ball, dismissing Rory Burns for 50. He then came back in the innings to get Joe Root who played on to his stumps just when he was looking set for a big score. Consequently, India won the match by 157 runs, with Umesh Yadav cleaning the tail.

Shardul Thakur’s 2 Fifties Deflated The Opposition: Virat Kohli

Indian captain Virat Kohli was also all praise for Shardul Thakur in the post-match presentation. He said the all-rounder’s contributions were the difference between the two teams and will be “remembered for a long time.”

Shardul Thakur has featured in only 4 Tests so far since debuting in 2018 against the West Indies where he got injured and couldn’t bowl more than 10 balls. But the Australia tour in 2020/21 gave him another opportunity with several cricketers injured and he did well in both batting and bowling. He has so far amassed 190 runs averaging a decent 38 and picked up 14 scalps averaging an impressive 22.71.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“What Shardul has done in this game will be remembered for a long time. His fifty was the difference between a 150-160 run lead and a 100-run lead. His two fifties deflated the opposition. His counterattack in the second innings made a lot of difference. We thought they would restrict us to a reasonable total when I got out, but he changed it,” said Kohli.

India and England will now clash in the fifth and final Test at Old Trafford in Manchester on September 10.

Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Notes Ravindra Jadeja Bowling Into The Rough Could Be England’s Biggest Threat

Michael Vaughan, former England captain notes Ravindra Jadeja bowling into the rough outside the off-stump could be the biggest threat England face on the final day of the fourth Test at The Oval. England has fielded six left-handers in their batting unit, and the rough has developed outside the off-stump for Ravindra Jadeja to operate.

In the 1st innings, the spinner accounted for the wickets of Moeen Ali and Ollie Robinson. He has now taken 225 wickets averaging 25.1 in Tests. He has taken 5 wickets 9 times. His best performance in Tests is 7 wickets for 48 runs. At the same time, Ravindra Jadeja has also scored 2145 runs at an average of 34.05 with a century in Tests.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Rory Burns Showed Great Technique And Character

Ravindra Jadeja bowled 13 overs in the final session of Day 4 but failed to clinch a wicket despite making use of the rough. Michael Vaughan lauded the technique displayed by England openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns and outlined the threat posed by Ravindra Jadeja.

While speaking to Cricbuzz, he said: “Rory Burns against Jadeja, with the ball spinning out from the rough, he showed great technique, and great character. That looks like the major threat from an England perspective, Jadeja firing it into the rough.”

Rory Burns Getty Images
Rory Burns Getty Images

The surface at The Oval displayed some traits for a spin, with Moeen Ali and Joe Root being among the wickets in the second innings. India only has Ravindra Jadeja as the lone spin bowling option at the moment among their ranks.

Michael Vaughan: India May Need To Think Outside The Box

Michael Vaughan was asked about his approach on Day 5 from Team India’s point of view. The former captain believes Virat Kohli needs to keep it simple and orthodox for the first half an hour of the day’s play by starting with Jadeja right away. If that approach does not bring any kind of success, Michael Vaughan feels that India may need to think outside the box.

Michael Vaughan added: “I think Virat needs to keep it simple for the first half an hour. I’d go with Jadeja, without any question you start with your spinner. Try to fire it into the rough outside Burns’ off stump. If it doesn’t work for them, they have to realise that it is like a subcontinent style pitch and think outside the box. I’m looking for someone like Bumrah to bowl the slower balls. Those kind of deliveries will be very important.”

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

England finished Day 4 at 77-0 by battling out the entirety of the final session. The fixture is well poised at the moment with the hosts needing 291 more runs to win the match while India needs to claim all the 10 wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed gave England a solid start as they ended at 77/0 at Stump’s on Day 4 of the fourth Test at The Oval.

At Stump’s, England still needed 291 more runs to win the Test match. Earlier, Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant scored incredible individual fifties as they propelled India to 466 runs in the second innings. India started the day poorly as they lost the wickets of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ajinkya Rahane in the morning session.

Shardul Thakur (60 off 72) struck his second fifty of the match and shared a hundred-run stand with Rishabh Pant (50 off 106) to put India in a strong position. India’s innings lasted 148.2 overs. Resuming the day at 270 for three, India lost three wickets in the morning session including skipper Virat Kohli (44 off 96).

England 290 and 77 for 0 (Hameed 43*, Burns 31*) need 291 more runs to beat India 191 and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83)

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan Feels Cheteshwar Pujara Has Traits Like Him And Inzamam-ul-Haq

Michael Vaughan, former England skipper feels Cheteshwar Pujara has traits similar to him and the former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq. During Day 3 of the ongoing fourth Test between India and England at the Oval on Saturday, when India was making steady progress with opener Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle of a phenomenal partnership, for a moment, the Indian fans were left worried.
While running at the non-striker’s end for a single, Cheteshwar Pujara twisted his ankle and went down in pain. Cheteshwar Pujara immediately received attention on his ankle, with the Indian physio attending him. After carefully examining it, Cheteshwar Pujara’s ankle was heavily taped up, and fortunately for India, the batsman was up and running and appeared in no discomfort whatsoever there onward.
Cheteshwar Pujara flicks one off this pads Getty Images
Cheteshwar Pujara flicks one-off this pads Getty Images

Michael Vaughan Feels Cheteshwar Pujara Is A Bit Like Him And Inzamam-ul-Haq

Examining the whole episode, Michael Vaughan feels Cheteshwar Pujara has traits similar to him and the former Pakistan captain and great batsman Inzamam-Ul-Haq.

“From knowing Pujara a bit from his time at Yorkshire, he’s a bit like me and I wouldn’t say that fielding is high up on his list of priorities. It’ll be an injury in that ankle that if there’s any prospect of him taking a bit of time off the field, he will take it. There’s a few around who used to be like that, Inzamam is one who comes to mind,” Michael Vaughan said on the BBC Test Match Special.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara were dismissed in the same over by Ollie Robinson soon after the pair brought up their 150-ruin stand. While Rohit Sharma fell to a pull shot on 127, Cheteshwar Pujara was caught in the slips for 61. Rohit Sharma hit a massive six-over long-on off Moeen Ali to get his first-ever Test century outside India. It also happened to be his 8th career century in the longest format.

Michael Vaughan Feels There Was A Lack Of Intent And Variety From England Bowlers

India strengthened their grip on the Oval Test, ending the day on 270/3, with a lead of 171 runs. The star of the day was Rohit Sharma, who peeled off his 8th Test century, first away from home. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma striking a partnership of 153 runs, Michael Vaughan felt there was a little lack of intent and variety from the England bowlers.

“It just feels that this England attack is very similar. It’s a concern when the ball’s not moving around that much as a batter you can’t get used to it. Everything’s almost the same pace. There isn’t a go-to bowler to rough Pujara up,” Vaughan added.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
“I’m just staggered. There’s so much experience in this England team, how they haven’t noticed the need to bowl shorter deliveries before now to both batsmen. I don’t think I’ve seen Ollie Robinson bowl a single bouncer in this match yet, he’s had Rohit out twice in this series with the short ball.”
India concluded a brilliant Day 3 at 270-3 (lead of 171 runs) with Virat Kohli looking solid at 22 off 37 alongside Ravindra Jadeja and with three more capable batsmen yet to come. India will look to bat out the first hour against the new ball and then unleash an all-out attack until the tea break with Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant capable of scoring briskly.
Cheteshwar Pujara wasn’t in form after failures against New Zealand (WTC Final, average 11.5) and at home against England (average 22.17). But this series, he is batting more positively as evident from his 91 at Headingley (Strike Rate 48.15) and 61 at Oval (Strike Rate 48.03). He has managed 227 runs so far averaging 32.43.
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE

Michael Vaughan: Virat Kohli May Have The Last Laugh

Michael Vaughan believes Team India’s two debatable moves – keeping Ravichandran Ashwin out for the fourth Test and promoting Ravindra Jadeja to no.5 are coming well at The Oval.

The former England skipper remarked that Virat Kohli, who took the brunt of the criticism for the ploys, will now be looking forward to having the last laugh if India wins the match despite conceding a 99 run 1st innings lead.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja Photo Credit: AP

Michael Vaughan: Virat Kohli May Have The Last Laugh As Ploy To Not Play Ravichandran Ashwin And Promoting Ravindra Jadeja At No. 5 Worked

Batting ahead of Ajinkya Rahane for only the second time in his career, Ravindra Jadeja contributed an uneasy 10 runs in India’s first innings. He looked more comfortable in the second dig on the eased-out pitch and is currently not out at 9 (33). India hasn’t missed Ravichandran Ashwin’s off-spinners much either as Ravindra Jadeja contributed two wickets in England’s first innings of the match.

Michael Vaughan told Cricbuzz: “It’s well documented that many feel that Ashwin should have played. They haven’t gone with Ashwin but you know what, this Indian side, they are well on top of this Test match, they have made a couple of tweaky changes in the batting lineup, with Jadeja batting at No. 5. “

“Jadeja also got the 2 wickets and Virat will be thinking: ‘I might have the last laugh here. I may, on Monday night, be able to say to all that I was right’. But I’ll tell him if you play Ashwin and win it, you’ll probably win sooner because he’s that good.”

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Speaking specifically on Ravindra Jadeja’s promotion, former England skipper Michael Vaughan said it was a clever move to change things up in the batting order which should continue ahead as well. He said Ajinkya Rahane shouldn’t be concerned about it either because the team is only looking to maximize its potential.

Vaughan added: “In the first innings, I thought it was quite a smart move to throw something different at England tactically. It didn’t come off but it was quite clever. Whether it’s long term, we’ll have to wait and see but all I’ll say to Ravindra Jadeja is – Go and get runs! Get those runs tomorrow and make sure in the next Test you are in at No. 5. I won’t be to concerned about Ajinkya Rahane, this Indian team are maximizing what they got in these conditions.”

Bad light stopped play at The Oval with India ahead by 171 runs. India ended the day at 270/3, with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara scoring 127 and 61, respectively. Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja will resume India’s innings on Day 4. Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara were dismissed in the same over by Ollie Robinson soon after the pair brought up their 150-ruin stand.

While Rohit Sharma fell to a pull shot on 127, Cheteshwar Pujara was caught in the slips for 61. Rohit Sharma hit a massive six-over long-on off Moeen Ali to get his first-ever Test century outside India. It also happened to be his 8th career century in the longest format.

India concluded a brilliant Day 3 at 270-3 (lead of 171 runs) with Virat Kohli looking solid at 22 off 37 alongside Ravindra Jadeja and with three more capable batsmen yet to come. So far Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are the highest scorers with their classy knocks of 127 and 61 respectively.

Michael Vaughan also spoke about the target that India would like to set on Day 4. The former England captain said 250 would be good enough for the hosts, while 50 more than that would all but push them out of the game because of the pitch’s condition in the final two days.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

Michael Vaughan added: “Over 250 is not going to be easy for England, over 300 will be too many. India are right in the box seat… India have now got a great chance to really have a grab at this series. They should be able to get at least 130 runs, over 300 runs and I think it’ll take a bit more spin on Day 5, the odd ball might just keep a bit low because the pitch will start to deteriorate.”

India will look to bat out the first hour against the new ball and then unleash an all-out attack until the tea break with Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant capable of scoring briskly.

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

Michael Vaughan: India Can Win The 4th Test If Any One Scores 100 And India Bats Throughout Day 3

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain reckons if India can bat out Day 3 of the Oval Test, they would be firm favorites to go 2-1 up in the five-match series. According to Michael Vaughan, it will be crucial for the visitors to see out the first hour, after which batting should get easy.

After conceding a 99-run lead in the first innings, India battled hard to reduce the deficit to 56 by stumps on Day 2. Their openers KL Rahul (22 not out) and Rohit Sharma (20 not out) batted defiantly as India ended the day on 43 for no loss.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: India Will Be Firm Favourites To Win The 4th Test Despite Conceding A 99 Runs Lead If They Bat Throughout Day 3

In an interaction on Cricbuzz, Michael Vaughan opined that India has a strong chance to end Day 3 in the ascendancy, provided they bat well.

Michael Vaughan said: “I think there will be another 270 runs scored on Day 3. If India can bat out out the day, then we start getting to the stage where they become favorites to win the Test match. That’s the big if – can they bat out the day? The first hour is always the key as the ball will do a little bit. We saw that on the first two mornings as well. If India can nullify that first hour, when there is a little bit more in the surface, India start to become favorites then.”

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

The former England skipper warned the Indian batters against chasing wide deliveries, which has been their undoing in the series.

Michael Vaughan added: “Bat all day – it’s a simple procedure that India now find themselves in. They have nullified the initial pressure zone with that start. Don’t go chasing the wide ones, don’t go chasing those big drives in the first hour. Play for your off stump and then make hay. The sun will shine eventually.”

Michael Vaughan: The Team That Gets The Individual Hundred Will Win The Game

Although England managed to gain a significant first-innings lead, according to Michael Vaughan it is not a lot considering the pitch is a very good one to bat on. He stated that if an Indian batter can score a hundred, the match will firmly be in their grasp.

Michael Vaughan explained : “I really feel that the way India have fought, from 120 for 7 to now be in this position, where they are only 56 runs behind… It is not a lot on a ground where you can score quite quickly. The team that gets the individual score to an individual hundred, that side will win the game. If an Indian can get a hundred, that will go a long way in them winning the game.”

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul is the only Indian batter to have scored a hundred for India in the series so far. Rohit Sharma and Indian captain Virat Kohli have hit two fifties each. Rohit Sharma is India’s second-highest run-scorer in the series thus far, with 261 runs to his name, only behind his opening partner KL Rahul(291 runs). However, he has looked the most comfortable amongst all the Indian batsmen in the middle.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan Reckons India May Suffer Yet Another Batting Collapse In The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan opined that the England pacers have been all over the Indian batting unit throughout this series. He reckons that a batting collapse will be just around the corner if the seamers are patient enough.

The Indian batters haven’t been consistent in the series so far. They have been able to build partnerships in isolation, but that has almost always been followed by a flurry of wickets in the four Tests so far.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: England’s 4 Man Seam Attack Has Been All Over Indian Batting Line-up As The Famed Batting Line-up Collapsed In The 3rd Test

Michael Vaughan reminded how the middle-order collapsed in the third Test at Headingley after Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli had built a solid partnership.

“This four-man seam attack that England have, they have been all over this Indian batting line-up. We saw it in the second innings at Headingley. The Indians made it tough, they hung in there, then there was a collapse. I do think that if England stay patient, I do think there will be a cluster of wickets somewhere,” Michael Vaughan said on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast.

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul | Photo: ICC

After conceding a lead of 99 runs in the first innings, the Indian openers gave a solid start in the wee hours of play on Day 2. The pair put up 43 runs on the board without being separated. At stumps, India’s second innings score read 43/0 — trailing by 56 runs with all wickets in the bag. Rohit Sharma (20*) and KL Rahul (22*) were steady for visitors as they mixed caution with aggression to make sure India doesn’t lose any wickets on the second day.

Michael Vaughan Warns Indian Batters Against Poking In The Channel-“The first hour is the key” –

Michael Vaughan predicts there will be movement on offer for the seamers early on Day 3. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have shown the ability to survive in such conditions, but the first hour of play will be crucial for India.

“The first hour is the key. It will swing more in the first hour. In terms of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, they have got the gift to be able to see off those balls that are bowled into that channel,” Michael Vaughan added.

The former England batter lauded the England pacers for attacking the channel consistently. He signed off by warning the Indian openers against poking at deliveries in the channel early on.

“We have seen continuously throughout this series how the England seamers are good enough to be able to control that channel. If they go chasing that channel too early when the ball is moving around, they will probably snick to the cordon,” Michael Vaughan signed off.

Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)
Umesh Yadav. (AP Photo)

The pitch will have a bit of moisture seeping in overnight. The morning session will be the most difficult to bat on and it is expected to get easier as the day progresses.

Earlier, England was bundled out for 290 runs after Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes shined with the willow and smashed their respective half-centuries to help hosts take a vital 99-run lead. Ollie Pope made 81 runs while Chris Woakes contributed 50 runs to guide England’s comeback after a shaky start. Moeen Ali (35) and Jonny Bairstow (37) also added important runs along with Pope lower down the order.

For the visitors, pacer Umesh Yadav picked up three wickets for 76 runs, while spinner Ravindra Jadeja claimed two wickets for 36 runs to keep India in the game. Frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah also bagged a couple of scalps for 67 runs. Shardul Thakur (1/54) and Mohammed Siraj (1/42) took one wicket apiece.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan Blames India And England Batsmen For Poor Batting On Day 1 Of The 4th Test

Michael Vaughan, former England captain, and broadcaster slammed the batters of both England and India for their lack of application on Day 1 of the Oval Test. He pointed out that there wasn’t any instance of the ball misbehaving. According to him, it was just poor batting on display.

After being put in to bat, India struggled to get going and scraped their way through to 191, courtesy of half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Shardul Thakur. England has already lost three wickets at the close of play on stumps at Day 1.

Shardul Thakur starred with a free-flowing half-century on Day 1 of fourth Test.© AFP
Shardul Thakur starred with a free-flowing half-century on Day 1 of the fourth Test.© AFP

Michael Vaughan: Day 1 Of The 4th Test Was A Really Poor Day For The Craftsmanship Of Test Match Batting

Michael Vaughan stated that the ball was expected to move around in the overcast conditions, but it wasn’t an unplayable surface by any means.

Michael Vaughan said on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast: “We know at the Oval that you get a true bounce. I haven’t seen any ball kept low or bounce too much. You have got to expect a little bit of movement when the clouds are around. I think it’s been a very good day for bowling. I don’t think it has been a great day for catching. because there have been catches that have been dropped. I think it has been a really poor day for the craftsmanship of Test match batting.”

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

He further added that somebody ought to have put their hands up and scored that big knock on day 1.

“You can’t tell me that with the talent of players in both sides someone shouldn’t be getting a big score on that kind of surface.”

The fourth Test opened with the clatter of 13 wickets and, when the last of these fell moments before the close, Joe Root looking back at a set of stumps freshly rearranged by Umesh Yadav, the mood changed significantly.

Michael Vaughan: England Gifted A Couple Of Wickets

Michael Vaughan reckons that England gifted at least a couple of wickets to India in the last session. He marked his disappointment at the way opener Haseeb Hameed got out to a loose shot outside the off-stump.

“They gifted a couple of easy ones. Haseeb Hameed, opening the batting. Dots, dots, dots. Couldn’t get the scoreboard ticking. And all of a sudden he plays a big yaaahooo at a wide one. That’s not what opening batters should be doing.”

Joe Root is bowled by Umesh Yadav late on the first day of the fourth Test.
Joe Root is bowled by Umesh Yadav for 21 late on the first day of the fourth Test at the Oval, as India fought back Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

India has got the price scalp of Joe Root before stumps. Dawid Malan will resume the innings along with nightwatchman Craig Overton on Day 2. England trail India by 138 runs at the moment with 7 wickets in hand.

England’s reply began with the cheap removals of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, the pair unable to repeat the century stand witnessed at Headingley as Jasprit Bumrah bowled the former off the inside edge for five and then had the latter caught behind trying to open his account with an uppercut.

Umesh Yadav’s strikes in his first over of the 2nd day by sending back nightwatchman Craig Overton on 1 (12). An outswinger bowled by Umesh Yadav and Craig Overton went for a cut, getting an outside edge with Virat Kohli taking the catch.

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