Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has made a bold prediction claiming Team India will come out victors in the fourth Test against England at the Oval. The match is currently titled in the hosts’ favor, who had gained a 99-run lead on Day 2 before the Indian openers wiped a few runs away.
The second day of the Test saw the game progress at a rapid rate. Both teams had a chance to deliver the knockout blow but fumbled just when they could see the finish line. India had England in all sorts of trouble at 62/5 in response to their 191. However, they let the English batsmen getaway soon after.
A spell of poor bowling from the Indian seamers saw England inch closer to the total before gaining a sizeable lead. At the same time, England should have put this match beyond India’s reach having been in a strong position at 222/6. Nevertheless, their 99-run lead was cut to 56 by the end of the day.
Although it may seem a bit early for predictions, Laxman thinks the pitch is quite flat and the Indian batsmen can take full toll of it. In an interaction with ESPNcricinfo, Laxman pointed out:
“I feel everyone in that Indian batting lineup will be eagerly looking forward to contributing in this innings. They are all world-class players and I am sure they’ll come good. I am backing India to win this Test match.”
“You can’t get a flatter wicket in England at the moment” – VVS Laxman
The Oval generally hasn’t been a batsman’s paradise. It isn’t the toughest conditions to bat in either. However, the weak batting line-ups on display have overshadowed the good batting conditions in the fourth Test.
The bowling attacks from both sides have been exceptional, but they might struggle on the track at The Oval, which Laxman believes is one of the ‘flattest’ ones the English have put up.
“If India don’t bat well tomorrow, they’ll be really, really disappointed because you can’t get a flatter wicket in England at the moment. They’ll be disappointed if they don’t seize this opportunity tomorrow,” Laxman added.
At the moment, it all depends on how KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma deal with the overcast conditions on the morning of Day 3. They will have to shield the fragile middle-order from the England bowlers early on.