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Don’t see India making any drastic changes for Headingley: Salman Butt

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Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt reckons India will not make any drastic changes for the Headingley Test. Butt pointed out that as the conditions at Headingley traditionally favour pace bowling, India might stick to the current combination.

India have gone in with four pacers and Ravindra Jadeja as the sole spinner in both Tests so far. Their fast bowlers have been highly impressive, with Jasprit Bumrah (12) and Mohammed Siraj (11) leading the wicket-taking charts.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt said that unless conditions at Headingley change drastically, there is no reason for India to make any major changes. He stated:

“I don’t see India making any changes, unless they want to rotate players and give someone else a chance. If there is some drastic change in the pitch, India can play an extra spinner or in case of an unfortunately injury also were might see some changes. Characteristically, the pitch at Leeds favours fast bowlers. If that remains the case, I don’t see India altering their line-up.”

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Butt added:

“Maybe they might bring in (Ravichandran) Ashwin. (Ravindra) Jadeja did not bowl that well in the previous game. He bowled reasonably but not as well as expected of him. Otherwise, I don’t see any drastic changes being made in the Indian team. The problem for England is that, if they prepare a pitch that spins, they will be in trouble. But even on surfaces that they are currently playing, which is favouring the fast bowlers, India are doing better than them.”

Monty Panesar feels India might face a big challenge at Headingley

Former England spinner Monty Panesar believes India might face a challenge at Headingley as the venue is the home ground of England captain Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.

Speaking to TOI , Panesar said while previewing the Headingley Test:

“Headingley is the home ground for Joe Root and also Jonny Bairstow. India played really outstanding cricket in the Lord’s Test, but they may face a big challenge in Headingley. If India continue to bowl like this, they will go on and win the series.”

He added:

“India are favorites to win the Headingley Test only if they get Joe Root out early. Siraj is the biggest difference for them. Siraj has made things difficult for England in the series so far. England batsmen are finding it difficult to read Siraj well.”

Having gained a 1-0 lead following the Lord’s triumph, India will face England in the third Test, which starts at Headingley on Wednesday.


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