Salman Butt feels that Team India will need to score a minimum of 350 runs in the second innings at The Oval. According to the former Pakistan captain, since there is plenty of time left in the game, Team India will need to set England a target of at least 250 to stay in the game.
Team India reduced England to 62 for 5 on Day 2 of The Oval Test. However, Ollie Pope (81) and Chris Woakes (50) lifted the hosts to 290, giving them a sizeable first-innings lead of 99.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt reckoned that, with three full days of play left, Team India could put up a good second-innings total. Butt said:
“The 99-run lead claimed by England could be quite significant. I am sure Team India will now feel that they will need to score at least 350 runs. If they do that, their bowlers will have a target of around 250 runs to defend, which will give them a decent chance to get the England batters out. Remember, there is a lot of time left in this Test. We have had only two days of play, three full days are still left.”
The former Pakistan batter pointed out that The Oval surface is getting easier to bat on and that Team India must take full advantage of the same. Butt added:
“There was a lot less movement off the pitch on Day 2. It wasn’t looking as green as it was earlier. Day 3 will be the best batting day on this surface. Usually, the third day in any Test is the best day to bat. There will be a little bit of moisture but if Team India can play that out, things can get easy. The top four will hold the key. Team India’s openers have been playing outstanding cricket. In fact, if we leave out Joe Root, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have been the best batters in this Test series. Rohit would love to get a hundred as he has been batting brilliantly.”
After bowling England out for 290, Team India’s openers batted with defiance, taking the side’s score to 43 for no loss at stumps.
“If one of Team India’s players manages a hundred, they will be in with a great chance” – Salman Butt
Team India crumbled at Headingley on Day 4 to undo the hard work of an impressive fightback. Butt acknowledged that the first hour of play on Day 3 will be critical.
“If Team India play out the initial 15-20 overs, they will mostly wipe out the deficit and the pressure will be less then. However, if England strike early and claim 2-3 wickets, Team India will be in a lot of trouble. India, especially these openers who are playing so well, need to make sure that they keep batting. If one of Team India’s players manages a hundred, they will be in with a great chance. Spin will come into play in the second innings and Team India have Ravindra Jadeja. The key is, of course, for them to bat well,” the former cricketer stated.
Team India will resume their second innings on Day 3 at The Oval with Rahul unbeaten on 22 and Rohit on 20.
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