Harbhajan Singh believes Team India are almost assured of a win in the ongoing second Test against England.
India took a 195-run first-innings lead on the second day of the Test in Chennai. They added a further 54 runs in their second essay for the loss of Shubman Gill’s wicket.
While talking about the match situation on Aaj Tak, Harbhajan Singh observed the hosts had gained a huge advantage on the first day itself when they won the toss and posted a substantial score on the board.
“I got the smell of victory yesterday itself because when India won the toss on this pitch I had felt that if they score more than 300 runs in the first innings, India will take the match far away from England,” said Harbhajan.
The former Indian spinner was particularly appreciative of the attacking displays of Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant. He also lauded the excellent spell bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin in England’s first innings.
“It was very difficult to bat on this pitch. But you need to appreciate Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and the innings Rishabh Pant played today morning. They played attacking cricket on a pitch where they knew that defending is tough. They understood their game well and posted such a high score that the Indian bowlers only had to think about how to take wickets. Well done to Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant and R Ashwin for the way they have performed in this game,” added Harbhajan Singh.
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When asked if the visitors have any chance of altering the result, Harbhajan Singh claimed that only a washout can help England save the match.
“The result can only change if it rains for three days. I don’t think the England team has the capability as it is a very difficult pitch. You have seen in the first innings how difficult it is to defend for the batsmen, especially the England ones because they have not played in such conditions,” said Harbhajan.
The Turbanator reckons England might not be able to match their own first-innings score in their second essay, considering the state of the pitch.
“When they get to bat on the third or fourth day, I don’t think they will be able to play even the number of overs they played in the first innings. So, I feel this match has already gone far away from England’s reach. I don’t think England will be able to score 134 also in the second innings as the ball is turning and bouncing a lot,” signed off Harbhajan Singh.
It will certainly be a tall ask for the Joe Root-led side to stage a comeback in this match. The hosts are already ahead by 249 runs and have nine second-innings wickets in hand. England are staring down the barrel, with the pitch likely to play even more tricks in the coming days.
“It is incredibly Challenging on that surface for us on day two. India are obviously a very skilled spin attack on their own condition and it was a very good toss to win.” – Graham Thorpe (England’s Assistant Batting coach)
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