Sunil Gavaskar opined that the England team and English media was so preoccupied with the upcoming Ashes 2021-22 against and in Australia, that they completely underestimated the Indian team. And hence they find themselves 1-2 down in the five-Test series with one match to go.
England came back strongly after the humiliating loss at Lord’s as they beat India in Leeds by an innings and 76 runs. They used that momentum nicely in Oval during the 4th Test as they bowled out India for 191 runs after winning the toss and choosing to field.
However, the Indian team bounced back strongly to keep England to 290 and their lead to 99 runs. Rohit Sharma then slammed a brilliant maiden overseas century (127) and with Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, and Shardul Thakur all slamming half-centuries with Thakur making fifties in both innings, India posted 466 on the board and asked England to chase 368 runs.
England did well to reach 100/0 with both openers scoring fifties, but then the wickets started to fall. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja picked 2 wickets each in the second session to leave England in trouble and when Shardul bowled Joe Root for 36, the match was over for the home team.
They were eventually bowled out for 210 and lost the match by 157 runs and went 1-2 down in the five-Test series.
Another Big Mistake Of The England Team And English Media Was That They Were Talking About The Ashes Series: Sunil Gavaskar
India batting legend said that the England team and media concentrating on the Ashes rather than the ongoing series led to their downfall and India can win the series if they manage to avoid a defeat in the fifth Test, while England can only draw the series even if they manage to win the final match.
“Pressure will be on Root in the fifth Test at Manchester because India will be heading into that match with a 2-1 psychological advantage. Another big mistake of the England team and English media was that they were talking about the Ashes series and how they want to play in that series.
“They should have focused on the present challenge from India instead. England underestimated the Indian team, and it eventually cost them dearly in the series as they cannot win the series now,” said Gavaskar while dissecting England’s mistakes on Aaj Tak.
India and England will now head to Manchester for their fifth and series-deciding clash. The Old Trafford cricket ground will host the match from September 10.