Former England bowler Monty Panesar feels Virat Kohli-led India are favourites to win the third Test against England at Headingley.
India won the second Test at Lord’s by 151 runs after their bowlers did the unthinkable task of bowling out England for 120 inside two sessions on the final day.
India favourites to win the Headingley Test: Monty Panesar
Apart from Joe Root no other England batsman has shown their worth of scoring runs and that was visible in the second innings, as soon the England skipper got dismissed, the entire team collapsed.
Panesar is of the opinion that if India manages to get Joe Root’s wicket early in the innings then no one can stop them to win the Headingley Test.
“Headingley is the home ground for Joe Root and also Jonny Bairstow. India played really outstanding cricket in the Lord’s Test, but they may face a big challenge in Headingley. If India continue to bowl like this, they will go on and win the series. India are favourites to win the Headingley Test only if they get Joe Root out early,” Panesar told TimesofIndia.com.
Mohammed Siraj bowled his heart out to help India win at Lord’s after a span of seven years. The Hyderabad bowler picked four wickets in each of his innings to register eight-wicket haul in a match and got the wickets of England’s lower-middle order batters to fold up their innings.
Panesar said that England batsmen are having a tough time understanding Siraj’s bowling and he will be the key player for India.
“Siraj is the biggest difference for them. Siraj has made things difficult for England in the series so far. England batsmen are finding it difficult to read Siraj well,” Panesar said.
England desperately need Ben Stokes if they want to save the series: Monty Panesar
England’s middle-order batters, barring Root, have failed to deliver up to their potential which makes many experts voice for the return of all-rounder Ben Stokes to the team.
Ahead of the series, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced that Stokes will take an indefinite break from the game to prioritise his mental well-being.
Panesar also echoed the popular notion of England needs Stokes to win the series.
“England desperately need Ben Stokes if they want to save the series. Joe Root needs Ben Stokes right now in the team. England are missing him badly. The equation would have been different if Stokes was here,” Panesar said.
India leads the five-match series 1-0 and the third Test begins on Wednesday (August 25).