Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has claimed on Thursday (23 August) that the English batting line-up looks more problematic than the Indian batting at the moment after the hosts were scrubbed by 203 runs in Nottingham despite winning first two Tests at home.
He also feels that the English batting line-up is more vulnerable and weak to both pace and spin and even went on to claim that the hosts lack depth in their team.
Virat Kohli-led Team India made a stunning comeback in the series by posting a thumping victory in the third Test against England after dominating in the both innings at Trent Bridge.
After seeing India’s dominance in Nottingham, Harbhajan backs the Men in Blue to win the fourth Test to be played in Southampton from 30 August, as well as, feels India still have a big chance to win the series 3-2 if conditions favors the touring side and they continue playing with the same spirit against England.
As per reports in Press Trust of India, Harbhajan stated, “The English batting line-up looks more problematic than the Indian batting at the moment. They are playing as if they are touring India, and not the other way round. Their batting line-up is more vulnerable to both pace and spin and they look weak. Some of their first-choice batsmen have an ordinary record in domestic cricket, averaging 30-35 at best. In India, you have to average over 50 to be even considered. They have good depth in ODI cricket, but in Tests, their batting has not done much.”
Commenting on India’s show in the first two Tests, the spinner explained, “It is not easy to come and play in England. You cannot say that previous Indian teams did better here. Apart from 2007, when did we last win a series in England? We tend to over-react easily and criticise too early. It takes time to get used to conditions in England. You can practice as much as you want but match conditions are different from nets. The Birmingham Test was so close, and if India had won there narrowly (instead of losing), we wouldn’t have had so much criticism and the series would currently be 2-1 to India instead.”
He signed off by saying, “After such a performance I back India to win the next Test in Southampton, and then anything can happen in the Oval Test. At the Oval, we could get a true Indian wicket with lot of bounce and lateral movement is less there as well. So, conditions could favour India and we could even play two spinners. I think India have a very good chance (of winning the series 3-2).”