VVS Laxman speaks
VVS Laxman wants India to bat England out of the Test (IANS Photo)

Batting legend VVS Laxman reckons that for India to beat England comfortably, the key is to bat them out of the Trent Bridge Test and wants them to not declare at least before tea on Day 3.

With three days left in the Test, India have ample time to put England under the pump after a dominating display on second Day. They had extended their lead to 292 runs at the close of play on Sunday and are aiming to extend it beyond England’s reach.

“There’s a lot of time left, this is just the third day,” Laxman told ESPNcricinfo. “It’s a great opportunity for some of the players, especially for (Cheteshwar) Pujara – the way he’s batted in both the innings. The way he has approached, in both the innings, should be very encouraging.”

He advices India to not worry about the time and give their batsmen ample chance to gain some confidence with two Tests still remaining in the series.

“Because England batsmen over-rely on Cook and Joe Root, the best way for India to win this Test match comfortably is make sure that they bat till tea. Not really think about the score, just bat for time. That give an opportunity for Pujara to score big, Ajinkya Rahane to get hundred. It will help them to get confidence going into the fourth Test. It’s about totally stamping their authority on England so that the next two Tests, India can play with a lot of freedom,” he said.

Laxman feels a lead in the vicinity of 500 runs will be enough against England batsmen who struggled to deal with the Indian pacers in difficult batting conditions.

“India should take a lead of 500 runs and then can put pressure on their batsmen who are struggling at the moment. Chasing even 300 is a difficult task especially due to the conditions on offer at Trent Bridge,” he said.

However, he doesn’t rule England completely out of the contest saying they have got the batsmen to give India a tough fight.

“Having said that, they have got players. Someone like Alastair Cook who is struggling and maybe there’s this question mark about his place. When that happened during Ashes, he came up with a double-hundred at MCG (December 2017),” he observed.