It Will Take A Miracle For England To Come Back In The Series – Sunil Gavaskar

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes England would require a “superhuman effort” to mount a comeback in the five-match series, which Virat Kohli’s team leads 1-0 after two Tests.

England led the second Test at the start of Day 5, but surrendered their lead following an 89-run partnership between tailenders Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. The Indian bowler then ran wild in the English batting line-up, bowling them out in under two sessions to give India its only third Test match victory at Lord’s.

Sunil Gavaskar believes that a comeback victory has psychologically harmed the hosts, and that they would need a miracle to turn things around.

In his column for The Telegraph, Sunil Gavaskar wrote, “India have dealt a psychological blow to England and it will take a superhuman effort from the home team to come back in the series. Yes, cricket is a game of uncertainties and thing can turn around quite dramatically but for that to happen it will take a miracle.

“At the start of the fifth day’s play, the general thinking was that England would win the game. But, on a last day pitch even 180 would have been tough as seen by the team being dismissed for 120 and losing by a big margin.”

The 72-year-old analyst emphasised that England’s batting is highly reliant on skipper Joe Root, who has been in outstanding form this season, and that without him hitting, they will fall like ninepins. He also stated that the squad is without the services of Ben Stokes, the team’s “once-in-a-generation” cricketer, who is taking a sabbatical to focus on his mental health.

“Their batting depends so much on Root that if he doesn’t hold the innings together, then the innings comes apart at the seams. If I were Joe Root, I would be on the hooter to Ben Stokes and implore him to come back and play for he is the kind of impact player who can turn it around for England,” the former opener added.

“Sadly someone who was born to play the game is unable to do so and that’s not just England’s misfortune but that of the cricketing world too, for players like Stokes are once-in-a-generation cricketers.”

England has recalled David Malan after three years to help shore up their shaky batting. In white-ball cricket, the left-hander has been in terrific form, scoring 199 runs in his previous first-class innings for Yorkshire. On August 25, the third Test will begin at Headingley.

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