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Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt said India would want to score at least 350 runs in their second innings at the Oval, and set England a target of about 250 or more runs. Salman Butt asserted that since there is plenty of time left in the game India would wish to bat a long time.
The visitors’ bowlers bowled England out for 290 on Day 2. While India did had England on the mat at 62-5, they let their grip loose as Ollie Pope (81) and Chris Woakes (50) extended the lead to 99.
With three full days remaining in the game, a result – a win for either of the side – has more chances than a draw.
“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,” Salman Butt said in his YouTube video.
The top four will hold the key: Salman Butt
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul safely negotiated the final hour on Day 2 scoring 43 runs before stumps.
Salman Butt, though, feels other middle-order batters would also need to stand up along with the in-form openers. He reckoned Day 3, like Day 2, would be good for batting, and should any Indian batsman recorded a century, it would put the Virat Kohli’s side on top.
“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 former opener said.
“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.
“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.”
India will start Day 3 with a deficit of 56 runs. With the series level at 1-1, both teams are looking to take an unassailable lead.
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