After an exciting competition at Lord’s, ex-cricketer VVS Laxman helped India to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series when they face England in their third Test in Headingley on Wednesday.
After their 151-run win in the second test at Lord’s, a confident Indian team will put all their weapons to the limit in order to take an unassailable lead in the series. Laxman, who has the experience of playing in English conditions, believes the hosts will be on their way back in the third Test because of the hiding spots they got in the previous game.
In his column for the Times of India, VVS Laxman wrote:
“A week is a long time in international sport, but that period between the second and third tests would have given England and India time to recover both physically and mentally after the nerve-wracking and compelling competition at Lord’s.
“The power clearly lies with the visitors, especially after the drama that played out on the last day. England are mentally lagging behind when it comes to cricket, so the first task for Virat Kohli’s team will be to start the third test strong.” and open some of the wounds that might fester, “he added.
Incidentally, the Lord’s trials on Day 5 saw the tempers flare up. It all started after James Anderson gave Jasprit Bumrah a bite after the pacemaker unleashed a barrage of bouncers against the English bowler on day 3. This spurred the Indian players to tyrannize their anger at England in their cave.
“If India can make a strong statement on Day 1, I see England surrender” – VVS Laxman
Since several star players are absent due to injuries, Joe Root & Co. already seem stuck. VVS Laxman believes if India can dominate the opening day of the Headingley Test they will be in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.
“If India can make a strong statement on the first day, be it with a bat or a ball, I expect another English surrender. England, already hampered by the absence of several key people, will make tactical and forced changes to their side, “Laxman said.
“The availability of Mark Wood will be a major setback as he has the extra pace that no other bowler in England can muster and an entrepreneurial approach from India will rekindle the doubts that are eating away at England,” added VVS Laxman added.
India goes to Headingley with a fabulous record on the ground after winning their last test on that soil in 2002 under Sourav Ganguly.