The Indian batting line-up may not be the most formidable in the absence of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja, but as seen in the second Test in Visakhapatnam, England will not breathe easy knowing that they have Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to counter. Gill and Jaiswal were India’s standout players with the bat, one scoring two centuries and the other a hundred in respective innings. Jaiswal’s 209 pushed India’s total close to 400, while Gill’s 104 further increased the lead to set England a target of 399, and although India’s batting in the second innings left much to be desired, it was enough to give them 106 runs. gain.
Therefore, it is a well-established fact that England are going to attack Jaiswal and Gill hard, rather in the first match to make an early breakthrough. And to achieve this, David Lloyd has suggested that England take advantage of India’s opener, where they love to thrive. Jaiswal, who Bumble suggests has “no weaknesses”, tends to go after the bowling and that is where the former England cricketer feels Ben Stokes should target the 22-year-old.
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“Jaiswal is a brave player, but he doesn’t have an obvious weakness, so I would be thinking a little outside the box and instead of bowling the left-arm spinner with the new ball, I would be tempted to persevere with the off-spinner, placing temptation deep. I would like to see England play to Jaiswal’s ego a little more,” he wrote for The Daily Mail.
“You need to keep your catchers close to the bat in subcontinental conditions, but you also need one or two fielders in strategic positions where you like to hit the ball,” he added.
How Stokes planned Iyer’s dismissal
Lloyd noted that England must follow the example of their dismissal of Shreyas Iyer in the second innings of the Vizag Test. Iyer seemed determined to reach the 29th over, when Tom Hartley bowled an aerial delivery, tempting Shreyas to face him and that is exactly what he did. However, Iyer’s timing was all over the place and he ended up skiing the ball away where captain Stokes completed the catch. Lloyd is confident England can beat Jaiswal with something similar, which in turn may give them a huge advantage given how terribly out of shape the rest of their batsmen look.
“Give him a carrot by fielding a deep midwicket and a deep midwicket, but two-thirds instead of going back to the boundary. Remember the trap Stokes laid for Shreyas Iyer in the second Test, when the England captain ran towards the rope to make a very good overhead catch.” Lloyd added.
Jaiswal will need to value his wicket a lot, especially given the relative inexperience of India’s middle-order without Iyer. Rajat Patidar has only appeared in one Test match, while Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan are set to make their debuts.