Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar slammed England’s performance, terming them a ‘two-man team’ and predicted a 4-0 outcome in India’s favour in the five-match series. Gavaskar’s comments came after India beat England by 151 runs in the second Test match at Lord’s to go 1-0 up the in series. The first Test at Nottingham had ended in a draw due to frequent rain interruptions.
“England is a two-man team. It’s just Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson. With the greatest of respect to all who are playing there, it doesn’t look like a proper Test team,” Gavaskar said on Sony Sports Network on Monday.
India declared on 298/8 minutes after lunch on Day 5, giving England a stiff target of 272 in the remaining 60 overs. Considering the strength of the Indian bowling unit, it was always going to be a matter of batting for a draw rather than going all guns blazing for England. But the England batsmen came a cropper in front of a relentless Indian seam attack.
India bowled them out for 120 in just 51.5 overs and won the match comfortably by 151 runs. Mohammed Siraj picked up four wickets in the second innings to return with match figures of 8/126. Jasprit Bumrah picked up three wickets for 33 runs while Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami chipped in with two and one wickets respectively.
“Their technique is awful. The technique of their opening batsmen is ludicrous. Their No.3 batsman Haseeb Hameed is nervous, tentative. So, we look up to Joe Root. Jonny Bairstow, yes if he gets going or otherwise it’s nothing. Buttler, he is a fine white-ball player. I’m not too sure he is there for red-ball cricket,” Gavaskar said.
Both the England openers – Rory Burns and Dom Sibley – were dismissed for a duck for the first time ever in a Test match in England.
Gavaskar also criticised England’s bowling unit for letting Mohammed Shami and Bumrah put on a record 102-run partnership for the ninth wicket that enabled India to put an England win out of the equation.
“In bowling, there was just Jimmy Anderson and there was nobody else. Robinson got five wickets in Trent Bridge but it’s really a ‘two and a half men’ kind of a team,” he said.
The legendary Indian cricketer predicted that India would go on to win the next three Tests and take the series 4-0.
“That’s why I think India will win the remaining three matches of the series. I had said at the beginning of the series that India should win it 4-0 or 3-1 and I still believe that result is possible if rain doesn’t spoilsport.”