London : Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has said that England won the Headingley Test against India as they played the new ball better. He also felt that negating the new ball has a big impact on who wins a Test match.
England won the third Test at Headingley against India by an innings and 76 runs. The win also got the hosts to level the five-match series 1-1.
“England won the Headingley Test because they played the new ball better than India. Negating the new ball is so crucial in Test matches and has a big impact on who wins the game. It gives the whole team a platform to go forward with confidence,” wrote Boycott in his column for The Telegraph on Monday.
“England’s top three scored 199 runs. It was priceless. Look at India. Virat Kohli won the toss and lost the Test by batting first on a damp pitch with overcast skies. They were four down at lunch because his batsman failed against the new ball,” explained Boycott.
The 80-year-old pointed towards the meltdown of the Indian batting from 215/2 to 278 all out.
“In the second innings, they failed again but that time against the second new ball at the start of Day 4. Eight wickets went down for only 63 runs in 19 overs.”
Boycott feels that the hosts can repeat Headingley result at The Oval if they remain consistent with the batting.
“England have been crying out for consistent starts, so do it again at the Oval and they will be halfway to going 2-1 up.”
Boycott praised Haseeb Hameed’s knock of 68 but mentioned that he went into a shell in the third day as Indian bowlers bowled tight lines to him.
“I liked Haseeb Hameed’s footwork. It was lovely but it was interesting that when he batted on the first day and the Indian bowlers were striving for wickets, they bowled a few balls off line and Hameed picked them off nicely, scoring boundaries.”
“Next morning India were much smarter. They bowled tight, squeezed the pressure on him and he hardly made a run which contributed to him getting out. India were smart and now he has to learn from that because it will be a definite plan India try again. When they bottle him up and dry up his runs he has to work out a method to combat that. England will want to see him battling and coming through this new challenge,” concluded Boycott.
The fourth Test between England and India begins at The Oval from September 2.