'No Shami, no Ishant, no Ashwin': Atherton on whether England can chase down 368

Former England captain Michael Atherton weighed in on England's chances of going 2-1 up and whether the pitch will turn up to assist Indian bowlers on the final day.
Former England captain Michael Atherton: File Photo(Reuters)
Former England captain Michael Atherton: File Photo(Reuters)
Updated on Sep 06, 2021 10:13 AM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

England are up against a herculean task – chasing down 368 against India at the Oval to go 2-1 up in the series. A century from Rohit Sharma, and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant in India's second innings saw India post a strong total of 466, which means that England need to pull off a record highest run chase at the venue.

Out of those 368, openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed have knocked off 77 runs, and with another 290 left to achieve in three sessions, Day 5 shapes up to be a fascinating contest between the two teams on Monday. India posted their highest total of the series, but England delivered a strong opening partnership themselves in response. 

Former England captain Michael Atherton weighed in on England's chances of going 2-1 up and whether the pitch will turn up to assist Indian bowlers on the final day.

"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 while commentating on Sky Sports.

Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding agrees with Atherton's views, stating that pace doesn't promise to cause England as much trouble as spinners, which is why India might miss the services of R Ashwin on a Day 5 pitch.

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"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," Holding said on Sky Sports.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021