India and England will square off in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham from Friday, July 1. England are coming into the contest after thrashing New Zealand 3-0 in three-match Test series and the side have shown a great attacking brand of cricket. However, former India pacer Ajit Agarkar believes that India should not try and match England’s style, as they are good enough to beat England. He also said that England will find it harder to take down Indian bowlers as they have more to their attack as compared to New Zealand.
“I do not know, why would India try and match with the way England are playing, England were 55/6 in the first innings against New Zealand and then they had a couple of good innings. India will play the way they know how to play, you don’t have to necessarily match someone, at the end of the day you want to play better than the other team. India, at the moment are 2-1 up in the series so the pressure is on England to try and level the series. I do not necessarily think that India will try and match England, they will play their own way. If they play well enough, they are good enough to beat England,” said Agarkar in a select media call organised by Sony Sports Network.
While replying to an NDTV question on whether England will find it tough to go after Indian bowlers, Agarkar said: “Look, they are terrific players (Bairstow and Stokes). Stokes is a world-class all-rounder, Bairstow has found some form in the last couple of Tests. But Root is still their main batter. If India can dismiss Root early, but there is no doubt, if you compare New Zealand with India’s attack, India has probably more to their attack and it would not be that easy to take them down.”
“Especially with the situations England were in most Tests, earlier on if India can put themselves in that situation, getting early wickets, it will be a little harder to take down India like they did with New Zealand. England has had three Tests so they are bit more battle-hardened but India has some serious quality in their attack so it would not be easy for England,” he added.
Lastly, Agarkar also said that he would want Cheteshwar Pujara or Hanuma Vihari to open if Rohit Sharma is unable to recover from COVID-19 on time.
“I know KS Bharat got some runs in the warm-up game. The team management will have a look at how prepared Mayank Agarwal is once he joins the team. I do not know if he has enough time to prepare for the Test, especially the one-off Test, I believe experience might help, if it is Pujara or Vihari. Vihari has already opened for India a couple of times. One of those two would be my picks, it is better to go with a little more experience because it is a one-off Test,” said Agarkar.
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