Despite the drawn first Test, Holding feels India remain firm favourites to win the five-match series.
Former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding has backed India to win the five-match Test series against England easily. The team has performed well consistently away from home under Virat Kohli‘s leadership but the results in England haven’t been encouraging. India last won a Test series in England back in 2007 when Rahul Dravid was the captain.
However, Holding has termed the visitors as the firm favourites despite the drawn first Test in Nottingham. He was impressed with the way India played while also stating that they have a decent mix of young and experienced cricketers. He also pointed out that the touring party has got familiar with the English conditions having spent more than two months now in the country.
“India started the series as favourites, and they remain favourites. India should win the series handsomely. I find no reason why India cannot win the series. They have already acclimatised with the conditions [the team have been in the UK since June for the WTC final]. They should concentrate on playing without worrying about the result. They have a well-balanced side of young and experienced cricketers,” Holding said while speaking to Mid-Day.
Holding lauds India’s pace attack
The 67-year-old is also impressed with India’s current pace attack. Jasprit Bumrah picked up nine wickets in the opening Test while Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur also looked good during their respective spells in the first Test. For the same reason, Michael Holding felt the Indian pacers will be able to take advantage of the favourable conditions.
“India are looking good with Jasprit Bumrah returning to form. Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj look promising. Mohammed Shami is an experienced campaigner. I am sure the Indian pacers will be able to utilise the English conditions well,” he added. The cricketer-turned commentator also felt that there is a lot of burden on Joe Root in the absence of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
England are also missing some of the other key players including Chris Woakes who is injured at the moment. “The burden is now on captain Joe Root. They are missing Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes. They have become weak in batting as well as bowling,” Holding said.