The Indian batting line-up may not be the most fearsome in the absence of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja, but as seen in the 2nd Test at Visakhapatnam, England won’t breathe easy knowing they have Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to counter. Gill and Jaiswal were India’s standout performers with the bat, one scoring a double century and the other a hundred in respective innings. Jaiswal’s 209 propelled India’s total to close to 400, while Gill’s 104 swelled the lead further to set England a target of 399, and even though India’s batting in the 2nd innings left a lot to desire, it was enough to give them a 106-run win.
Hence, it’s a well-established fact that England are going to come hard at Jaiswal and Gill, more to the opener to get an early, big breakthrough. And in order to do so, David Lloyd has suggested that England needle the India opener where he loves to thrive. Jaiswal, who Bumble suggests has ‘no weaknesses’ has a tendency to go after the bowling and that’s where the former English cricketer reckons, Ben Stokes should target the 22-year-old.
“Jaiswal is a dasher all right but he doesn’t have an obvious weakness, so I would be thinking slightly outside the box and rather than bowling the left-arm spinner against him with the new ball, I would be tempted to persevere with the off-spinner, placing temptation in the deep. I would like to see England play on Jaiswal’s ego a bit more,” he wrote for The Daily Mail.
“You need to keep your catchers around the bat in subcontinental conditions but you also need one or two fielders hovering in strategic positions where he likes to hit the ball,” he added.
How Stokes planned Iyer’s dismissal
Lloyd pointed out that England need to take a cue from their dismissal of Shreyas Iyer in the 2nd innings of the Vizag Test. Iyer looked set on 29, when Tom Hartley bowled a flighted delivery, tempting Shreyas to take him on and that’s exactly what he did. However, Iyer’s timing was all over the place and he ended up skiing the ball to long off where skipper Stokes completed the catch. Lloyd is confident England can see off Jaiswal with something similar, which in turn, can give them a huge advantage given how awfully out of form the rest of their batters look.
“Dangle him a carrot by posting a deep midwicket and a deep mid-off, but two-thirds rather than all the way back to the boundary. Recall the trap Stokes set for Shreyas Iyer in the second Test, when the England captain ran towards the rope to take a very good overhead catch.” added Lloyd.
Jaiswal will need to value his wicket highly, especially given the relative inexperience of India’s middle order without Iyer. Rajat Patidar has only featured in one Test match, while Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan are poised to make their debut.