1-0 down, England will have to pull off something special in the third Test at Headingley to level the series. England batting has come under serious scrutiny after showing no resistance to the Indian bowling. For England, it’s been a one-man show with Joe Root doing the bulk of the scoring. Once Root is dismissed, a collapse is always on the cards.
With series on the line, England have made some desperate changes to the squad for the third Test and have added Dawid Malan to the squad. The southpaw is likely to play at No 3 in the third Test. England skipper Joe Root said that Malan will provide the much-needed stability and experience in the top order. The match is set to get underway on August 25.
“David Malan will offer us a lot of experience in that top three, not necessarily in terms of international experience in Test Cricket, but he has played a huge amount of international cricket, he has dealt with pressure and he has played red-ball cricket over the course of his career and he has had great success. We know he is capable of big things in Test cricket,” said Root during a virtual press conference.
“I mean, Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns are two fine players, they are very different in their styles, it is an opportunity for them to score big runs and get us off to a good start, hopefully, we can follow through on that,” he added.
Post the twin wins in Sri Lanka and the win in the first Test in Chennai, England have lost five games and drew two. Talking about the recent dip in form, Root said, “ I think it has been a very challenging summer, we have come across some challenging surfaces as well. We have to find ways to get better, when you look at batting in Test cricket, it revolves around big partnerships. In England, starting your inning is the hardest thing. The first inning in the second Test showed that we improved from the first Test.”
Root was criticized for straying away from their strategy of bowling good lines in an attempt to give it back to Jasprit Bumrah at Lords. The players from both teams were involved in heated arguments as well. Virat Kohli is someone who thrives on the on-field banter and Root said he will not indulge in anything that will distract them from their game plan.
“We have to make sure that we play the game how we want to and not get too distracted or drawn into anything that is not us. Virat and his team will play how they want to, we will do how we want to. There is always going to be conversation on how you want to deal with different situations, we could have managed certain areas better in the last Test. There are three massive games to play in the series and we are desperate to come back,” Root concluded.