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'Fiesty India thoroughly deserved Lord's win'

Source: PTI
August 18, 2021 12:02 IST
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India's bowler Mohammed Shami celebrates after taking the wicket of Dom Sibley on Day 5 of the second Test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on Monday

IMAGE: India's bowler Mohammed Shami celebrates after taking the wicket of Dom Sibley on Day 5 of the second Test at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on Monday. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Former England skipper Andrew Strauss feels the manner in which Joe Root's team capitulated against a fired-up India in the second Test could hurt the "bruised and battered" hosts in the remainder of the five-match series.

From a seemingly comfortable position, England fell to a 151-run defeat on the final day at the Lord's.

 

"They were favourites but let things slip before lunch (on final day) and then had another top-order collapse," Strauss told Sky Sports.

"Those early wickets put huge pressure on the middle order and India just had enough overs to bowl them out. It was feisty."

He said India "thoroughly deserve" to go one up in the five-match series.

"Every series with India, and particularly (Virat) Kohli, is feisty and as the match was on the line you expected nothing else. It has been five brilliant days of Test cricket.

"India were exceptional and there were times when England looked like they were going to get out of jail but, in the end, you have to say that India deserved it, they did enough to win. England are going to be absolutely battered and bruised as a result of that," he added.

Strauss has also called for a change in England's top-order after another disappointing show by the batsmen.

He is certain that the woefully out-of-form opener Dom Sibley could be dropped ahead of the third Test at Headingley.

For the first time in Test history, both England openers were dismissed for ducks in the same innings of a home match.

"At some stage if you keep being two or three down for nothing, it's going to come back to haunt you."

"Yes, they were two good balls to get rid of Burns and Sibley but, of course, then Joe Root is under pressure, (Haseeb) Hameed is under pressure and then Jonny Bairstow and the middle order as well. You just can't keep doing that time after time," Strauss said.

Sibley averages just 14.25 across four innings in the series and with only one half-century in his last 15 Test innings, Strauss expects the 25-year-old right-hander to be axed. Root (128.66) is the only England player averaging over 30.

"I think it might be time to bring Sibley out of the firing line. He has looked out of touch. I think Ollie Pope is probably going to come back in, who has been in and around the squad, but is it right for him to be batting in the top three? It is not an easy solution.

"There are a lot of problems for England, no doubt about that. If they had got away with it again, we might have been able to paper over the cracks but not anymore." 

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