India’s star-studded batting line-up came to the fore in the second innings of the Oval Test, with all the batters barring Ajinkya Rahane contributed to the mammoth total of 466, as first, they overhauled the 99-run deficit and then put up a target of 368.
Mark Wood lavished praise for the Indian openers – Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, the only two Indians to register three-digit scores in the series.
“I think it’s (India) a world-class batting line up. You go throughout the whole line-up and you think, well he is a great player, he is a good player. Rohit Sharma is being brilliant, he is tough to bowl at in any conditions,” Mark Wood was quoted as saying by PTI.
“KL Rahul, I have been really impressed with him, he has left the bowl really well early on and played really solitary and when he gets in, he has played quite beautifully. The openers are two big wickets for us.”
Of the middle-order batters Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, the pacer further waxed lyrical on them, and hailed the Indian skipper as “one of the toughest players” across formats.
“Then you have got (Cheteshwar) Pujara, (Virat) Kohli, I mean Kohli is one of the toughest players that I have bowled at in any format, so it is world class line-up,” he added.
We believe in ourself as a group: Mark Wood
While Mark Wood remains in awe of India’s outstanding batting line-up, he asserts that the English bowlers are confident about their abilities to take on the Indian batting. He said they also go in prepared and have plans and backup plans for each batsman.
“But if you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t believe you can get them out then there is no point in playing.
“So, we believe in ourself as a group, we have plans for each batsman, we have back-up plans, sometimes it works, sometimes they don’t. But when you have such a good sort of batting line up to come up against, you have to be right on the money, otherwise they punish you,” the 31-year-old stated.
After missing out on the last two Tests, owing to a shoulder injury he sustained in the Lord’s match, Mark Wood has recovered from it and is likely to return to the eleven in Manchester. It remains to be seen if England give either James Anderson or Ollie Robinson a rest as both have bowled the most amount of overs in the series.