Batting legend Dilip Vengsarkar backs India to beat England in Edgbaston

Former Indian cricketer and batting legend Dilip Vengsarkar believes India is in a better position in the upcoming Test match between India and England which begins on July 1 at Edgbaston.

Dilip Vengasarkar, speaking with reporters, explained his reason and highlighted that India has played a warm-up game before heading straight into the Test. This will lead to better acclimatization for the players, which was not the case during India’s tour of England in 2021.

Last year, India started their tour with a rain-curtailed World Test Championship final against New Zealand, which the team lost.

However, India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series against England with some aggressive cricket under the leadership of Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri, The outbreak of Covid-19, however, ended the tour, with the 5th and the last Test being postponed and rescheduled for July 2022.

This one-off Test is the fifth Test match of the same series.

According to Dilip Vengsarkar, “In the last tour, India did not play any warm-up matches before they played that first Test. If you tour countries like England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, you have to play some games before you play the Tests to get acclimatized.”

“That is why we lost that first game. But now they have played a warm-up match, and so I expect them to do well. They also know that there is only one match left now. If they win that, they win the series straightaway,” he added.

Meanwhile, both India and England have a change of guard at the helm. For India, Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have given way to Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid. Whereas England, led by the new captain-coach pair of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have registered a 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand.

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England played entertaining and attacking cricket throughout the Test series against New Zealand with some swashbuckling displays of attacking batting from the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, and Joe Root. However, Vengsarkar believes that just relying on attacking batting will not always pay dividends.

“Test matches are a five-day affair, and the T20s are completely different. You can’t do the same kind of batting in both unless you have to win the match in the end, which England did in the last Test match. But that is very rare, every session in a Test match is important. You have to plan things in Test cricket, skills matter a lot. Mental toughness also matters,” Dilip Vengsarkar pointed out.

India will play the one-off and the 5th Test match at Edgbaston starting from July 1.

After the Test, the team will stay in England for three ODIs and as many T20Is against the same opponents.
India though could head into the match without captain Rohit Sharma who may not be available for the Test after testing Covid positive.

While the guessing game over who would lead Team India in the decider continues, the legendary Harbhajan Singh has given his vote of confidence to Jasprit Bumrah to take over the mantle of India’s captaincy in the Test match.

On the other hand, Graeme Swann wants to see Virat Kohli back at the helm of affairs as he was the one who started it all in England last year.

If India manage to beat the hosts in the final game at Edgbaston it would be their first series win on English soil in 15 years. India last defeated England in a Test series at their home in 2007.

‘”You could say why not let Virat Kohli finish off the things he started and sort of have a final hoorah. Whether Virat would want to do that, I don’t know. I don’t think England will really mind. Maybe, if you think about Ben Stokes… He would quite like Virat Kohli to be captain then he could directly compare to how Joe Root’s team played against Virat Kohli’s,” Graeme Swann said in an interaction organized by Sony Sports Network ahead of the fifth Test against England.

“We saw a lot of the New Zealand players getting Covid but they recovered really quickly so I’m hoping Rohit would do the same and lead India,” he added.

“England won’t be too worried about who is India’s captain. They would be looking to put as much pressure as possible on the Indian batting unit and bowl them out. When we used to play against the Indian team, they had some great names, we always used to worry about how to get them out cheaply, it was never about who is captain,” Graeme Swann summed up.

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