Team India, under the leadership of captain Virat Kohli, will begin its Test campaign with the opening game starting August 4 in Nottingham. Ahead of the big series, former India cricketer VVS Laxman has highlighted a few areas which captain Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri need to address. Laxman believes the historic Test series win in Australia would have an overall change in mindset.

Speaking on Star Sports show Game Plan, the former Team India batsman, Laxman said, “I believe the overall mindset of the Indian team has changed. With the win in Australia in 2020, the way they beat Australia in Brisbane and win the series in that fashion, in spite of a lot of first-choice players not being available, shows that there’s a lot of depth and character in this team.”

Laxman praised India’s pace bowling unit and claimed they will be high on confidence for they have been a force to reckon with in the last few years. Laxman, however, raised the issue of the Indian cricket team’s over-dependence on a couple of batsmen. The former India batsman admitted that the other batsmen will have to do well in the English conditions if they wish to win the series.

“I think the fast-bowling unit has become very formidable, and they are high on confidence from the way they have performed all over the world. One thing that Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli need to address is – the match-winning performances from their batsmen. They overly depend on one or two batters in overseas conditions, especially in conditions like England. If you want to beat England in a five-Test series, then you want to have a collective performance from your batting unit. You can’t expect one or two batsmen to perform, and then you expect to win the series. And that is something that Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli would like to address,” added Laxman.

Laxman also spoke about how the upcoming series is going to be a defining one for some of the key India players. The Hyderabad cricketer threw his weight behind senior batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.

“For me, Pujara, Rahane, all the batsmen in this Indian batting lineup are experienced and are quality. Everyone will have a different formula, and everyone will have a different approach to score runs. There is an approach that Virat Kohli has – which he has consistently maintained throughout his career – then there is an approach Pujara has shown, and Rahane has shown, or Rohit Sharma is showing as an opener. So, I think it is important for the team management to back each and every player to show confidence in their approach,” added Laxman.

While picking up key players from both the teams Laxman said, “Well, from India’s point of view, I will pick Rishabh Pant and also, from the bowling lineup, I will pick Jasprit Bumrah. From England, I will back the warhorse, Jimmy Anderson, and from the batting department, I will go for their skipper Joe Root.”



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