Former England cricketer Michael Atherton backed the Ben Stokes-led team to secure victory in the ongoing five-match Test series against India. Michael Atherton highlighted that England have a significant psychological advantage to extend their lead in the red ball series.
The England team claimed a 28-run victory in the first Test match over the hosts in Hyderabad. The visiting team won the match despite conceding a lead of 190 runs in the first innings. They defeated the opposing team by 202 runs in the last innings of the match.
England have gone from being a great second favorite: Michael Atherton
In his column in The Times, Michael Atherton noted that England have gone from being second seeds to winning the series. Atherton highlighted the injuries to key Indian players Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul and stated that England can exploit their advantage.
“England have gone from being second favorites to a situation where it would now be a disappointment if they did not win the series,” Atherton wrote in his column.
“Such a result, so unexpected and incredible considering the position of both teams in the first innings, must have a huge psychological impact, especially considering the rapid turnaround and injuries to two of India’s key players, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul. “England have an excellent opportunity to press their advantage,” Atherton said.
India is currently facing a challenging situation with the absence of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul for the second Test match in Visakhapatnam. Several Indian batsmen, including captain Rohit Sharma, are currently struggling to score in the red-ball format.
Spinner Jack Leach was also ruled out of the second Test due to a knee injury. England gave Shoaib Bashir his debut in the second Test. James Anderson replaced Mark Wood in the visitors’ playing eleven. They maintained their batting line-up for the Visakhapatnam Test.
Virat Kohli’s absence became evident – Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton emphasized that Virat Kohli’s absence was evident in Hyderabad. Atherton noted that India had not taken advantage of Kohli’s batting prowess, his ability to catch slips and his ability to handle pressure.
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