Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan. Image-Sportstar

Former India left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan has said that the performance of Team England in their first innings of the Edgbaston Test against India will heavily depend on the performance of the captain Ben Stokes and in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow.

The England batters struggled against the Indian pace battery in their first innings. At stumps on Day 2, England were at 84/5. India captain Jasprit Bumrah bagged a 3-wicket haul. Also, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj bagged one wicket each.

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Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. PC- Getty
Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. PC- Getty

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Zaheer said that amongst Stokes and Bairstow one batter will have to step up and play a big knock to help England make a comeback. He added that India, on the other hand, would want to dismiss one of the two batters early. He said:

“For England, a lot will now depend on Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. At least one of these two batters will have to come up with a big knock. If they don’t, India will strengthen their position in the game even further. The talk in the Indian camp will be to get one of these two out early. That will open up one end for them.

“The difference between the two teams is that India are playing with five bowlers. England have four bowlers and Stokes in a supporting act. India have four proper pacers, of which Shardul Thakur can bat a bit as well. Ravindra Jadeja can come into the game if there is help from the surface. Even if he doesn’t get assistance, he can hold one end up.”

If you have such a culture, it’s a positive and healthy sign of camaraderie – Zaheer Khan on Bumrah backing Kohli after dropped catch

Zaheer Khan, Jasprit Bumrah
Zaheer Khan, Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo: Twitter)

Jasprit Bumrah has been highly impressive as a captain of India so far. In India’s first innings, captain Bumrah played a cameo knock with the bat to help his score in the excess of 400 runs.

He broke the record held by Brian Lara, George Bailey and Keshav Maharaj for scoring the most runs in an over in Test cricket by smashing 29 runs in a 35-run over, which was bowled by Stuart Broad.

Meanwhile, Bumrah was seen cheering for Kohli after the former India captain dropped a catch of nightwatchman Jack Leach at slips. Former India pacer Zaheer feels that backing culture in the team is a “positive and healthy sign of camaraderie”. He said:

“In a team sport, you need to back each other. You don’t do that just through talks but through actions as well. We saw a glimpse of that with Bumrah. If you have such a culture in the team, it’s a positive and healthy sign of camaraderie.”

Virat Kohli-Jasprit Bumrah
Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

Also Read: IND vs ENG: It’s Nice James Anderson Has Realised That After 2014 – Ravindra Jadeja’s Reply To Pacer’s “He Can Bat Like A Proper Batter” Comment

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