‘England underestimated Team India’: Gavaskar says Root & Co should’ve focused on present challenge instead of The Ashes

The former batting legend said underestimating Team India caused England’s downfall as the visitors are now leading the series 2-1.
Sunil Gavaskar analyses England's mistakes in the ongoing series(HT Collage)
Sunil Gavaskar analyses England's mistakes in the ongoing series(HT Collage)
Updated on Sep 08, 2021 12:11 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has opined that Joe Root-led England side concentrated more on the upcoming Ashes series than the current challenges posed by Team India. The former batting legend said this mindset caused England’s downfall as India is now leading the series 2-1.

So far, England have lost two games despite starting brilliantly on both ocassions. During the second Test at Lord’s, India made a massive comeback in the second innings and outfoxed the hosts to win the game. Similar thing happened at The Oval when the visitors showed character on the last two days of the fourth Test and registered a historic win to take an unassailable lead in the series.

In a conversation with Aaj Tak, Gavaskar analysed the mistakes made by the English team. He said,

“Pressure will be on Root in the fifth Test at Manchester because India will be heading into that match with a 2-1 psychological advantage. Another big mistake of the England team and English media was that they were talking about the Ashes series and how they want to play in that series. They should have focused on the present challenge from India instead. England underestimated the Indian team, and it eventually cost them dearly in the series as they cannot win the series now.”

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Speaking highly of Indian tail-enders, Gavaskar explained how valuable contributions from the likes of Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in the series have put India in commanding position.

“If India had made only 380 runs in their second innings, England would have had to chase a score of around 280. That would have meant less pressure on them as compared to chasing 368. So those useful contributions from the tail were very crucial. First, we saw in Lords and now in this Test match,” said Gavaskar.

“When bowlers score some runs in the lower order, then their confidence usually goes up even when they come back to bowl in the following innings. I am very delighted that India won a Test match at Oval after 50 years,” he added.

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