Former West Indies renowned pacer Michael Holding believes the Indian pacers will not be able to turn things around on the fifth and final day of The Oval Test.
On the fourth day, the surface appeared to have little in it for the bowlers, as batsmen from both sides made quick work of it. India reached 466 runs thanks to half-centuries from Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant, who combined 100 runs for the seventh wicket, before Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav contributed useful contributions in the twenties to set England a target of 368.
While Ravindra Jadeja was able to get some turn during England’s turn to bat, the pacers received no help from the ball, which did not seam or swing, allowing openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed to execute their plans with ease.
By the end of Day 4, the pair had guaranteed that England had scored 77 runs without losing a wicket, with the hosts needing 291 runs on the final day with all 10 wickets intact.
Michael Holding’s opinion
According to an article on India Today, in an interview with Sky Sports, Holding stated that he does not expect Indian bowlers to be any better than England’s, who did not cause the Indians too many difficulties with the ball.
“I don’t really see this pitch playing too many tricks. I didn’t see the England seamers create too many problems… and the India seamers I don’t expect to do much better. And Jadeja, I don’t know. I would have preferred Ashwin if you’re talking about just the bowling,” Holding said.
Former England cricketer Michael Atherton had similar sentiments, describing the pitch as a good one, while also questioning the Indian bowling line-strength ups in the absence of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Ravichandran Ashwin.