Gavaskar predicted an India win by a 4-0 or 3-1 margin in the series starting Wednesday (August 4), depending on the weather, and claimed that the Virat Kohli-led would emerge victorious anyway as the Joe Root-led English side is depleted and their batting brittle.
“My prediction is if again this time I am making it contingent (on) to the weather… if the hot conditions are there, hot conditions are there for 22 out of possible 25 days, then I think India will win 4-0.
“In case you have a situation where the weather is going to be a factor, then I think India will win 3-1, but I think India will still go on to win, because England is now a very depleted side, and their batting, as we saw in the series against New Zealand, is being brittle,” Gavaskar said during a virtual con-call.
The batting great favoured playing the aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant ahead of Wriddhiman Saha in England. “It depends on your combination. If you are going to go in with five batsmen and a wicket-keeper, then I think you would look at somebody like a Rishabh Pant.
“Also, it depends on where you play, if you are playing for example, in India where the ball turns a lot more, so more of the wicket-keeping skills are required, then you would look to go in for somebody as outstanding as Wriddhiman Saha,” the 72-year-old said.
“But otherwise, if you are looking at playing in England, where the wicketkeeper has to stand back and collect the deliveries against most of the pacers, then I would still go in for somebody like Rishabh Pant,” he added.
When asked about Rohit Sharma’s opening partner in the Test series, the batting legend backed KL Rahul for the job.
“…With a hundred under his belt, I think (KL) Rahul will have lots of confidence. He is the person I would look at opening the batting, not having (Cheteshwar) Pujara going up the order.
India on Monday (August 2) suffered a blow when Mayank Agarwal – the first-choice opening partner for Rohit – was ruled out of the opening Test after getting hit on the helmet by Mohammad Siraj in the nets.
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