Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been vocal about how the 3-1 score line during India’s last tour of England in 2018 belied how well-fought a series that was. Come to 2021, the team has ensured to not just fight well, but also close the games correctly. Acknowledging how good the visitors have been this time around, England quick Mark Wood termed India as “world-class”.
India, who plummeted to an innings and 76 runs defeat at Headingley after a 151-run win at Lord’s, showed admirable grit to fashion a comeback through a thumping 157-run win at The Oval, as they lead the five-game series 2-1, with one in Manchester to go.
“I think it’s (India) a world-class batting lineup. You go throughout the whole line-up and you think, well he is a great player, he is a good player. Rohit Sharma is being brilliant, he is tough to bowl at in any conditions.” Wood said at a virtual con-call.
“KL Rahul, I have been really impressed with him, he has left the bowl really well early on and played really solitary and when he gets in, he has played quite beautifully. The openers are two big wickets for us.” said Wood, who has 64 wickets from 21 Tests.
‘Virat Kohli is one of the toughest I’ve bowled at in any format’ – Mark Wood
“Then you have got (Cheteshwar) Pujara, (Virat) Kohli, I mean Kohli is one of the toughest players that I have bowled at in any format, so it is a world-class line-up, but if you don’t believe in yourself, if you don’t believe you can get them out then there is no point in playing.”
“So, we believe in ourself as a group, we have plans for each batsman, we have back-up plans, sometimes it works, sometimes they don’t. But when you have such a good sort of batting line up to come up against, you have to be right on the money, otherwise, they punish you.” the 31-year-old added.
I respect this Indian pace attack immensely: Mark Wood
Wood has not been left impressed by the star unit of batters that India boasts of: “I think, every team has quality pacers, this is national cricket, this is not (some) sort of school or club cricket. Every team has fantastic bowlers and I respect this Indian pace attack immensely.” said Wood.
I think it is highly skilled, it has got pace, they are all slightly different, with different angles, different actions. It is great to watch, I mean, it is not great to face as a batsman, but as an opposition player, you can get huge respect.
And (Mohammed) Shami, I have been hugely impressed with him throughout the series. His skill level, his accuracy and it has been tough for batsmen of both sides. It is a good bowling line up but we recognize that we will have to combat as best we can.Mark Wood