Didn’t see England seamers create too many problems : Michael Holding

Michael Holding

Former West Indies legendary pacer Michael Holding reckons that he does not have too high hopes from the Indian pacers to turn things around on the fifth and final day of The Oval Test.

The surface on the fourth day seemed to have little in it for the bowlers as batters from both sides made hay. Half-centuries from Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant, who added 100 runs for the seventh wicket, before handy contributions in the twenties from Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav took India to 466, setting England a target of 368.

While Ravindra Jadeja managed to get some turn during England’s turn to bat, the pacers got no assistance whatsoever, with the ball neither seaming nor swinging, allowing openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed to execute their plans with ease. By the end of Day 4, the duo ensured that England ticked off 77 runs unscathed, as the hosts need 291 runs on the final day with all 10 wickets intact.

I don’t really see this pitch playing too many tricks: Michael Holding

Speaking to Sky Sports, Holding reckoned that he does not expect Indian bowlers to be any better than England’s, who themselves did not create too many problems with the ball for the Indians.

I don’t really see this pitch playing too many tricks. I didn’t see the England seamers create too many problems… and the India seamers I don’t expect to do much better. And Jadeja, I don’t know. I would have preferred Ashwin if you’re talking about just the bowling,” Michael Holding said.

Former England cricketer Michael Atherton had similar views, as he termed the pitch to be a good one, while he also raised questions on the potency of the Indian bowling line-up that has no Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin.

It’s pretty flat, there’s not much happening, and then you look at the shape of India’s attack. No Shami, no Ishant, no Ashwin, they seemed very reliant in that first innings on Bumrah especially. How much will Jadeja have an influence? He may have an impact, (but) it’s a good pitch,” Atherton said on Sky Sports.

The five-match series is levelled at 1-1.