Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that the home side must play with a lot of anger and an intent to prove a point against the visiting Indian side in the Test series. Vaughan believes that the three lions must step up and challenge the likes of Virat Kohli and serve their best against the no.1 ranked Test side in the world.
Vaughan thinks, England's two most important weapon at home - James Anderson and Stuart Broad - must “step up and challenge Virat Kohli’s front foot”. In his write up for Daily Telegraph, Vaughan wrote, “Joe Root needs to hammer home to his men that they have a point to prove and try to replicate that angry England team that arrived at Headingley and hammered Pakistan in their last Test. Go back and say to the players: ‘What were you thinking that first day at Headingley?,”
England dominated Pakistan at Headingley and won the game by an innings and 55 runs.
Vaughan wants England to play like that against India. He further wrote, “This England team has to find that attitude without first having to be stirred into a response through criticism after a hammering. Maybe the Adil Rashid furore will help, England will not win every game, they are not good enough, but their mindset and mentality can be the same every week.”
“Joe Root averages over 50 from 16 Tests as captain. I would have snatched your hand off for that average. The only problem for Joe is that he has not scored the hundreds he should have done. He has found his form in the one-day game and got out of his system the frustration and anger, and trying to bat like someone else rather than trusting his own game. All he needs is to be himself."
"This is the perfect series. The pitches will be good, he is a great player of spin and you can wear India’s seamers down because I don’t think they will be that disciplined. Outfields will be rapid. Everything is set up for Joe to have a great series.”
Vaughan also urged Alastair Cook to find some consistency with his form and wrote, "Alastair Cook needs to find consistency. One massive score in a series along with loads of low scores is no good. He needs consistency over the next five games. And he has to drag Keaton Jennings with him. Yes, Cook has to look after his own performance, but it would be nice to take Jennings with him so whenever he leaves the Test team he has made sure England have a decent, half-experienced opening batsman to take on his mantle.”
“He scored a hundred on debut in Mumbai and it is always nice to know you are playing against a team you have had success against before. That could be worth a lot for him.”
Vaughan also gave his insight on what combination England should play.
“If England go with six bowlers it is too many. Six covers too many bases. You are almost not trusting your bowlers to be good enough. Personally, I would pack the batting and pick the best five bowlers, with Root the sixth as a part-timer. England’s problems have been not getting enough big scores on the board and this Test team has to work out how they are going to make 400-550 on a regular basis, not just in one-off games. If it is four seamers and one spinner, fine, or three and two because of conditions then also fine, but do not be any funkier than that. With the heat and how dry it has been, I suspect they will go with two spinners."
Specifically, on bowling to Virat Kohli, Vaughan advised, “You expect Broad and Anderson to step up and challenge Kohli’s front foot. Bowl outside off-stump and then throw the odd one in straight to get him playing across the line and scissor his feet, You need his front left-foot going over to the off side, he then starts doubting where his off-stump is and playing squarer on the off side which is when the outside edge comes into play."
“England did it in the one-day series at times. He was vulnerable a yard outside off-stump and the likes of Anderson and Broad have to hang it out there and say ‘Come to us’. If there is any movement in the air they will be a real threat.”
(Inputs from PTI)