‘No Chance For India’ – Cricket Legend’s Stern Warning For India Ahead Of 5th Test Against England
Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes ready for ENG vs IND 5th Test (Image source: Twitter_

New Delhi: Former England spinner Graeme Swann has picked England as favourites over India in the rescheduled 5th Test, starting July 1st at Edgbaston Birmingham. The Three Lions made an emphatic start under new coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes, drubbing World Test Championship winners New Zealand 3-0 in the recently concluded series.

India, on the other end, has a lot of concerns to deal with heading into the series decider. The availability of skipper Rohit Sharma is in doubt after the batter tested positive for COVID-19. Star India opener KL Rahul will also not be available due to injury. Both Rohit and Rahul played a pivotal role in India taking a 2-1 lead in the series. Both players looked fairly comfortable against the swinging deliveries and laid a solid platform for the batters to follow. If Rohit misses out, India will have to open with an inexperienced duo of Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill. Swann believes that having played against New Zealand ahead of the 5th Test is a big advantage to England.

“England are in a very good position and I would say they are slight favourites because of that series (against New Zealand),” Swann said in a virtual interaction for Sony Sports.

“And the fact that India just had one (warm-up) game in England, so they are coming in cold (for) the Test match, which is a bit of disadvantage. They (England) have got the three-Test matches under their belt, so that makes them pre-game favourites.

The three Lions were in tatters before they faced New Zealand and had won just two of the last 17 games. However, with Stokes at the helm and McCullum as a coach, the aggression seems to be back in the England team. Joe Root has also hit a purple patch, and Jonny Bairstow seems to be in the form of his life, smashing blistering hundreds, making this England team look even more formidable. Swann pointed out that England players are back in form that gives England a massive advantage heading into the 5th Test.

“You are going to face an England team where Joe Root is back to his absolute best, where Olive Pope is playing his best-ever for England. Ben Stokes has amalgamated the team and got playing in an ultra-positive and rock and roll fashion.

“There are chinks in the armour – the opening batting slot is still very weak. But nearly all the other spots had excellent (returns). Even the spinner Jack Leach, who is under a lot of pressure, has got 10 wickets in a match,” Swann added