Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: Monty Panesar’s big prediction to InsideSport – After the first Test ended in a draw at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, Team India under Virat Kohli hammered England by a massive 151 runs to win the second Test at Lord’s and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series. The two teams will now meet in Headingley for the third Test at Leeds, starting on Wednesday, with the momentum firmly in India’s favour.
Former England off-spinner Monty Panesar feels that the conditions might tempt the Indian management to field two spinners, which means World No. 2 Test spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is likely to be back in the side.
Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: In an exclusive chat with InsideSport, Monty Panesar, the former England spinner who represented England in 50 Tests and 26 ODIs spoke about India’s domination in English soil and how the Joe Root-led side can bounce back.
Excerpts from the Interview with Monty Panesar
Q. Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: India has played aggressive cricket and the win at Lord’s helped India take the series lead. Going into the third Test, what are your predictions?
MP: I think India have got a chance to keep up the lead. They continue to be aggressive. Once you have gone into such a position in the fray, India have put England on the backfoot. They would put pressure on England.
Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: Q. We haven’t seen much Test cricket at Headingley, how do see the pitch turning up considering there will be little rain in the run-up to the match.
MP: I think Headingley is a pitch where bowlers tend to bowl a little bit shorter than they need to. Again, India may look to play two spinners possibly. India’s attack is really good and superbly strong. Maybe Mohammed Shami wants to have rest. It depends on the pitch, it does turn. That could be the possibility.
Q. Historically, the latter half of the English summer has seen the pitches get dried up and offer some turn. Has there been any change in the nature of wickets of late?
Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: MP: I think maybe the ball is going to spin a little more. Pitch is going to be a bit slower, so the ball tends to turn more. The pitches in England do support spin.
Q. Ashwin has been on the sidelines and has not been picked despite being the lead spinner. Do you think it’s time for Virat Kohli to get him in and who would you replace in India’s playing XI?
MP: That could be the opportunity for Ashiwn to come in. Depends on the weather, if the weather forecast is good then they could bring another spinner as that could allow the pitch to be quite dry. India may think to play two spinners.
Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: Q. England’s batting has struggled big time apart from Root. With Dawid Malan in, do you think he will be preferred ahead of Ollie Pope?
MP: Ollie Pope is a good player as well. It depends if England wants to go with a left-right combination at three and make it difficult for the Indian bowlers. Pope has struggled against spin in India, they may go with Malan who plays the fast bowler better.
Q. How much is England missing Ben Stokes? Would he have made a difference?
MP: England are missing Ben Stokes. If you see, India being on the front foot, the inclusion of Ben Stokes would have enhanced England when they were in struggle. He can contribute with the bat and the ball.
Ind vs Eng 3rd Test: Q. Now that two matches are over with Virat Kohli & Co taking a 1-0 lead, do you think England can bounce back?
MP: Depends on India, if India goes on a back foot, it will be nice to England. This I think will bring them back into the game. India needs to be on the front foot now. England didn’t expect that the battle would go so hard on them. They may come back in all hostility.