After Team India’s embarrassing loss in the third Test against England at Headingley in Leeds, many experts of the fascinating game have opined that the visitors should make some changes in their playing XI for the upcoming fourth Test.
The fourth match of the ongoing five-match series is scheduled to begin on Thursday (September 02) at Kennington Oval in London. Ahead of the Oval Test, former India batter VVS Laxman has suggested two changes that Virat Kohli should make in the playing XI of the Indian team.
Laxman reckoned that India should add another specialist batsman as the middle-order has been tested and not performed up to the desired expectation. The cricketer-turned-commentator believed Team India is overly dependent on the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, and the touring party should include an extra batsman to strengthen the batting unit.
“If there is one department which has not played to its potential or performed to its potential is the batting department because, in all the three Test matches, I felt that the middle-order was tested. They are overly dependent on Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to get runs, so I definitely feel that playing an extra batsman will be something I am sure Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri will be thinking about,” Laxman told ESPNcricinfo.
Laxman said that he would want to see Hanuma Vihari in the playing XI as the number sixth batter. He mentioned that wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant should come to bat at the number seven position.
“I would like Hanuma Vihari to be batting at number six, and that will just strengthen the middle-order and Rishabh Pant batting at number seven,” added Laxman.
Another change that Laxman mentioned is to include off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI. The 46-year-old observed the visiting team should go with three seamers and one spinner as the ideal bowling combination.
“I would still go for Ravichandran Ashwin, keeping in mind that pitch at the Oval. Whenever I played at the Oval, as the match progresses, the wicket tends to become dryer which will definitely get in Ashwin into action. England have got three left-handers in their middle-order, so I think Ashwin will be someone who I will be really looking forward to playing in this Test match,” explained Laxman.