Former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar feels India may be challenged at Headingley as it is the home ground of England skipper Joe Root and the explosive Jonny Bairstow. However, if India bowl well, Panesar feels they are the favorites to win the series.
Mohammed Siraj has by far been the most impressive among the Indian pacers. He was brilliant in the last game at Lord’s where he picked up eight wickets. Monty Panesar reckons Siraj will once again be the player to watch out for.
Speaking to TimesofIndia.com, Monty Panesar also said that if India are successful in getting rid of Joe Root early, they can win 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.
“India are favourites 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.”
The Indian team would want drama: Monty Panesar
What spurred the Indian players in the Lord’s Test was England’s tactic of having a go at Jasprit Bumrah. The speedster had peppered James Anderson with a number of short-pitched deliveries when the latter walked out to bat.
So when Bumrah came to the crease, Joe Root and his men decided to return the favor. They even began sledging Bumrah and that got the best out of the Indian team.
Monty Panesar feels Virat Kohli and his men feed on such energy and would want similar banter at Headingley.
“Virat Kohli would want his players to go hard at the English batsmen in Headingley. That’s the approach he would be going with. The Indian team would want the confrontation and drama.”
The third Test between India and England at Headingley, Leeds will begin on August 25.