After India defeated England by 151 runs in the second Test match at Lord’s, Sunil Gavaskar termed England as “a two-man team”, owing to their over reliance on skipper Joe Root and James Anderson. Gavaskar further predicted that India will win the remaining three matches to take the series 4-0.
India declared at 298/8 minutes after lunch on Day 5, setting England a target of 272 runs in the remaining 60 overs. England lost both their openers to Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, who had earlier showcased their brilliance with the bat during the first session. India’s pace-attack combined to put up a great show, dismissing England for 120 in 51.5 overs to register their third Test win at Lord’s.
As had been the case during the first Test at Trent Bridge, England heavily relied on Joe Root, who top-scored with an unbeaten 180 in the first innings, with some help from Jonny Bairstow who scored 57. The bowling too, rested heavily on James Anderson’s shoulders, who bagged a five-for in the first innings.
Sunil Gavaskar heavily criticized the current England team, terming it as "a two-man" force, after most of the players failed to contribute.
“England is a two-man team. It’s just Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson. With the greatest of respect to all who are playing there, it doesn’t look like a proper Test team,” Gavaskar said on Sony Sports Network on Monday, August 16.
Rory Burns and Dom Sibley were dismissed for a duck in the second innings, the first such instance for any England opening pair in a Lord’s Test. Joe Root and Jos Buttler showed some resistance to try and salvage a draw, but failed to do so against India’s fast-bowling brilliance.
Gavaskar was particularly critical of the openers’ poor techniques, which he feels adds to the pressure on Root. He also added that Jos Butler is a great a white-ball player, the same might not be said as far as Test cricket is concerned.
“Their technique is awful. The technique of their opening batsmen is ludicrous,” said Gavaskar who scored 33 of his 34 Test hundreds while opening the batting. “Their No.3 batsman Haseeb Hameed is nervous, tentative. So, we look up to Joe Root. Jonny Bairstow, yes if he gets going or otherwise, it’s nothing. Butler is a fine white-ball player. I’m not too sure he is there for red-ball cricket.
“In bowling, there was just Jimmy Anderson and there was nobody else. Robinson got five wickets in Trent Bridge but it’s really a ‘two and a half men’ kind of a team”
The 72-year-old went on to predict that India will win the next three Tests and take the series 4-0.
“That’s why I think India will win the remaining three matches of the series,” he said. “I had said at the beginning of the series that India should win it 4-0 or 3-1 and I still believe that result is possible if rain doesn’t spoilsport."