'For all intent and purposes, India should be 2-0 up': Michael Atherton
On the start of the fifth day of the first Test against England at Trent Bridge, India found themselves in prime position to win the match. Needing 157 to win with 9 wickets in hand and 98 overs left, India were favourites to go 1-0 up in Nottingham. However, their plans were hampered by rain as Day 5 was washed out and the match ended in a draw.
Whereas, things were totally different for India on the final day of the 2nd Test at Lord's. With a lead of just 154 runs and six wickets down, all England needed to do was finish off the tail quickly.
But India's tail-enders batted with grit and set a tough target of 272 England to chase. India's pacers responded in style, bowling England out for 120 and winning the Test by 151 runs to eventually take a 1-0 lead. With rain coming to England's rescue in the first Test, former captain Michael Atherton believes India should have been 2-0 up with the kind of performance the Virat Kohli's men have dished out in the series.
"Although home sensibilities will focus, inevitably, on England's final day performance on Monday, which was by far unintelligent and then limp, it was India who left an indelible impression," Atherton wrote in his column for the Telegraph.
"The ferocity of their play, their will to win, and their skill to carry them through difficult moments, should have removed any doubts about how the Nottingham Test would have finished but for rain. To all intent and purposes, India should be 2-0 up," he added.
"Over two matches, England have competed for long periods, and this without some serious cricketers - Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Chris Woakes absent for two Tests and Stuart Broad for one. They have the benefit of two of their greatest cricketers, in James Anderson and Joe Root, and in Test cricket, great players can make up a lot of ground for limitations elsewhere. All is not lost," he said.
"In short term, given the injuries and lack of domestic first-class cricket to provide alternatives, there is not a great deal to be done. They will (and should) make an alteration at the top of the order, if only to reiterate the principle that performance matters," he signed off.