Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan was impressed with the positive intent shown by openers by openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the last session at the Oval on Friday.
According to Zaheer, by not going into their shell, Team India’s openers sent a strong message to England that they are pushing for a win.
“Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s intent was really impressive. It is not easy for batters to play out that last hour. There is always that dilemma as to whether they must bat for stumps or keep playing their natural game. Often batters get confused in such a situation and lose their wicket as well. From that perspective, the Team India openers batted positively, played their shots and showed great intent.”
“If you look at the run rate, India scored at nearly three an over. Earlier, (when conditions were tough) they were leaving the balls alone. By playing positive cricket, Team India’s openers have sent out a strong message to England, that they are here to score runs and want to win the game. They will be looking to first go past the deficit and then set England a challenging total. The fourth-day or fifth-day pitch will then come into play. India need to remain positive on Day 3. This is a good wicket and if they can score runs, they can come back into a winning position.”
“This England team can be put under pressure. We saw it at Lord’s and, before that, in the first Test as well. Yes, Ollie Pope batted really well and could provide good support to skipper Joe Root in the second innings. I still feel this current England side is susceptible under pressure. India has an opportunity but it all depends on how the batters grab it.”
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