Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman reckons that only Joe Root can help England save the first Test match against India. In an interaction with ESPN Cricinfo, Laxman stated that India is currently in the driver’s seat because of the 95-run lead that they have attained in the first innings.
“India is definitely in the driver’s seat. There’s no doubt about that. The reason why I say this is that 95 runs is a substantial lead and when England won the toss and batted first and they ended up getting only 183, you can understand how important that is from India’s point of view. But it’s all about those early wickets and getting Joe Root to the crease as soon as possible. If anyone can save England from losing this Test match, it’s Joe Root.”
“He’s the only one to look in total control. The other batsmen looked very susceptible against the moving delivery and India have got four quality fast bowlers and all look in good form,” he added.
VVS Laxman further observed that India will need at least 90-100 overs to bundle out England in their second innings. He believes that India needs to show patience against the set duo of Sibley and Burns and wait for the mini collapses, which was the case in the first two innings.
“Well, seeing how the wicket has behaved in the second innings, I’ll say at least 90-100 overs. It won’t be realistic to bowl them out in probably 60-70 overs like the first day. 90-100 overs will be what India will look at because there will be times when batsmen of the skillset of Sibley and Burns will love to occupy the crease and you’ll have to show patience and then there will be a spell where India get 2-3 wickets just like how India got the breakthroughs before lunch on the first day for India and then Jimmy Anderson did yesterday (Day 2).”