Former West Indies fast-bowler Michael Holding has backed India to beat England in the ongoing five-match Test series. Holding, who is currently a part of the commentary team in England, was highly impressed with the performances put up by India's bowlers in the first Test at Trent Bridge.
The Indian Test side, led by Virat Kohli, has been a tough team to beat in overseas conditions in recent years. The results in England, however, haven't been encouraging. It's been well over a decade since India's last series win in England - a 1-0 triumph under Rahul Dravid - back in 2007. They lost 11 of the 14 Tests across three tours thereafter, with just two wins and a draw.
This time, India have had a better chance to adapt to the English conditions, as they had arrived two months ago for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. They've got a fairly good start to the five-match series, with Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja emerging as the standout performers in the first Test at Trent Bridge. Chasing 209 to win the match, India were just 157 runs behind, before rain washed out the entire of final day's play.
Former West Indies quick Michael Holding, who is on commentary duties in England, has backed Kohli’s men to win the ongoing series.
"India started the series as favourites, and they remain favourites. They 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]," Holding told Mid-Day.
"They should concentrate on playing without worrying about the result. They have a well-balanced side of young and experienced cricketers."
Holding, who is widely regarded as one of game’s fast-bowling greats, was highly impressed with the Indian bowling unit in the first Test, led by Bumrah, who bagged nine wickets in the game.
"India are looking good with Jasprit Bumrah returning to form,” said the 67-year-old. “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."
The second Test will be played at Lord’s, beginning Thursday, August 12.