Former batsman VVS Laxman feels that England are mentally lagging to India in the series, especially after the kind of loss they conceded on Day 5 of the Lord’s Test. After starting at a strong position on the final day in the second Test, the hosts lost their plot, first with the ball then with the bat as Virat Kohli’s side took a lead.
In his recent column for the Times of India, VVS Laxman opined that the Indian team is clearly in a dominant mindset going into the third Test at Headingley, and reckons they should take an early advantage in the game to assert their status over the beleaguered hosts.
“A week is a long time in international sport, but this period between the second and third Tests would have given England and India time to recover physically and mentally after the unnerving and compelling competition at Lord’s,” VVS Laxman wrote for TOI.
“The force is clearly with the visitors, especially after the drama that unfolded on the last day. England are, in cricketing terms, a mental foot behind, so the first point of order for Virat Kohli’s team will be to start the third Test strong and reopen some of the wounds that could still be festering.”
I anticipate another English capitulation: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman is expecting Joe Root’s side to crumble again in the third Test as they did on the final day at Lord’s, which will allow India to take an unassailable lead.
He pointed out that England have been further depleted by the loss of Mark Wood, after they were already missing Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, and Stuart Broad.
“If India can make a strong statement on the first day, be it with bat or ball, I anticipate another English capitulation. Already handicapped by the absence of several key personnel, England will make tactical and forced changes to their eleven.
“Mark Wood’s availability will be a major setback because he has the extra meters of pace that no other bowler in England can summon, and an entrepreneurial approach from India will reignite the gremlins of doubt that must be eating away at England,” the 46-year-old stated.
Meanwhile, it is India who are struggling in the first hour at Headingley as James Anderson rips through the top order with wickets of KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Virat Kohli.