Observing India‘s thumping performance on the final day of the Lord’s Test, former England captain Michael Atherton opined that if the rain had not intervened in Nottingham, India would have won the first Test as well.
Virat Kohli’s side was full of energy on Day 5 at Lord’s as they bowled England out in less than two sessions to claim a 151-run victory and take a 1-0 series lead and left an “indelible impression” on the watchers.
Michael Atherton reckoned this would have been 2-0 had India been given the chance to bat on the final day of the first Test. The visitors needed 157 more runs in Nottingham with 9 wickets in hand, but rained denied India that opportunity.
“Although home sensibilities will focus, inevitably, on England’s final day performance on Monday, which was by far unintelligent (sic) and then limp, it was India who left an indelible impression ,” Michael Atherton wrote in his column for the Telegraph
“The ferocity of their play, their will to win, and their skill to carry them through difficult moments, should have removed any doubts about how the Nottingham Test would have finished but for rain. To all intent and purposes, India should be 2-0 up,” he added.
All is not lost for England: Michael Atherton
The 53-year-old commentator feels that England can still make a comeback in the series, but they would continue to rely heavily on Joe Root and James Anderson in the absence of some of their superstars. He believes that changes will be made in the batting for the Headingley Test.
“Over two matches, England have competed for long periods, and this without some serious cricketers – Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes absent for two Tests and Stuart Broad for one. They have the benefit of two of their greatest cricketers, in James Anderson and Joe Root, and in Test cricket great players can make up a lot of ground for limitations elsewhere. All is not lost.
“In short term, given the injuries and lack of domestic first-class cricket to provide alternatives, there is not a great deal to be done. They will (and should) make an alteration at the top of the order, if only to reiterate the principle that performance matters,” the former batsman stated.
Dawid Malan is set to return to the Test side after three years as England have dropped Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley. Mark Wood will be monitored by the medical team for his shoulder injury which he sustained while fielding at Lord’s.