Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt believes that the Indian team has plenty of bowling options at the moment. The pacers have delivered so far so introducing any changes in the playing XI becomes an extremely tough decision to make for the skipper Virat Kohli, as per Butt.
Team India went in with a combination of four-seamers and a solitary spinner in Ravindra Jadeja for the first two Tests. Considering the pitches at Headingley have historically favored the quick bowlers, there may not be a chance to bring in Ravichandran Ashwin.
“India are spoilt for choice at the moment. Outright performers are sitting out. If Ravichandran Ashwin comes in, he will definitely perform. He is a world-class spinner. Even if he plays instead of Ravindra Jadeja, it won’t affect the balance of the side.”
“Ashwin is a smart spinner, who is slower in the air, which allows the ball to turn more. More or less India are a settled outfit. They might make a change or two depending on the pitch. But we can’t blame Kohli (if he doesn’t pick Ashwin again). He is producing results with whatever he is doing,” Butt stated.
“England are up against a much superior team” – Salman Butt
The hosts England were dealt severe blows even before the start of the series when they lost Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. Their batting has been very weak of late, even in home conditions, as exposed by the Indian bowling at Lord’s.
The reason has been that the visitors’ bowling attack has fired in tandem. They have also maintained a consistent line of attack, instead of trying too much. Butt also compared the batting of both sides, claiming England has only one batsman who is ‘Test material’.
“India’s bowlers are more consistent in line and length. Also, England have bowled well. But India’s batters have tackled them far more effectively. As for England, barring Joe Root, their batters are not Test material.”
“Players like Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow would have scored at least one hundred if the matches were played on batting-friendly surfaces. Both in batting and bowling, England are up against a much superior team,” Salman Butt added.
The third Test between England and India is all set to get underway at Headingley, Leeds on August 25.
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