Updated February 13th, 2024 at 12:36 IST
'Rajkot HAS A REPUTATION': Michael Atherton's BIG WORRY for 3rd Test in India vs England series
Former cricketer Michael Atherton publicly supports the inclusion of India's skilled bowler in the Rajkot game for the 3rd Test against England.
India claimed victory over England by 106 runs in the second Test match of the series, bringing the overall score to 1-1. The match, held from 2nd to 5th February, saw India posting a commanding first innings score of 396, with Yashasvi Jaiswal's stellar 209 leading the charge. Jasprit Bumrah's exceptional performance, securing 6 wickets for 45 runs, was crucial. England responded with 253 in their first innings. In the second innings, India reached 255, and England set a target of 399 by scoring 292. Jasprit Bumrah was awarded the Player of the Match for his outstanding contributions. The Indian team will be seen in action during the 3rd Test that will take place in Rajkot from February 15, 2024.
Michael Atherton anticipates a big show from Jasprit Bumrah in Rajkot
Former England captain Michael Atherton is certain that India's speed marvel, Jasprit Bumrah, will play in the next third Test match on February 15 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.
Bumrah demonstrated his skill by taking 9 wickets in both innings, contributing to India's victory against England in the second Test at Vizag. This victory was vital because it enabled India tie the existing five-match Test series at 1-1 after losing by 28 runs in the series opener in Hyderabad.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Atherton emphasised the importance of Bumrah's presence, particularly on grounds with minimal support for bowlers. He voiced his conviction that Bumrah's participation will be critical for India as they attempt to dominate the third Test. Notably, Bumrah received the 'Player of the Match' award for his outstanding performance in the second Test, highlighting his contribution to the team's win. Michael Atherton said:
“You want your cracker jack bowler, who can open up the game when the conditions are flat. But then it's a quick turnaround to Ranchi and then Dharamsala where you probably want your seamers to play as it's a bit cooler. I would've thought favourite for him is to play here and in Dharamsala. Depending upon how it goes here, they may look to rest him in Ranchi,”
Atherton also mentioned that Rajkot is known for its infamously flat wickets, which highlights the task that bowlers face. In response to rumours over Bumrah's likely selection in the third Test, Atherton recognised the importance of his presence in the team.
Atherton praised Bumrah's amazing exploits, noting that the brilliant pacer just carved his name in the record books. Bumrah became the quickest Indian fast bowler to surpass 150 Test wickets, demonstrating his extraordinary talent and consistency. Furthermore, his remarkable performance in Vizag elevated him to the coveted position of world number one Test bowler, becoming him the first Indian pacer and fourth Indian overall to reach this milestone. He said:
“There are a few rumours in the Indian media. One that he might not be in the squad and will be rested for Rajkot. They prove to be unfounded. There are still a few rumour mills that they are looking to rest him at some point in the series,”
“Rajkot has a reputation of being one of the flatter pitches - it only has had a couple of Tests. I think there have been 9 individual 100s scored. India scored 650 against the West Indies. In 2016-17, 3 England batters got hundreds,”
Team India's updated squad following KL Rahul's exclusion
India’s updated Squad for the third Test: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja*, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal.
Published February 13th, 2024 at 08:55 IST