Mohammad Kaif backs India to win series 3-2 against England
Will Virat Kohli's India be able to make it 2-2 at the Ageas Bowl? (Getty Images)

With India bossing England with a 203-run win at Trent Bridge, the cricket fraternity seems to have placed their bets back on Virat Kohli and his team. England, who started odd as favourites in the series with back-to-back wins at Edgbaston and Lord’s, are no longer the overwhelming favourites, and as tough as it may be, the feeling among many is that India will turn the tables and make it difficult for England to get away with a series win.

Former India cricketers Sourav Ganguly, Sunil Gavaskar, offspinner Harbhajan Singh were among many to have shown confidence in the Indian team, and joining the bandwagon is Mohammad Kaif. The hero of the 2002 final, in a bold prediction, has backed India to make in 2-2 in the fourth Test at Southampton starting Thursday and go on to win the series 3-2 at the Oval.

“I would back India to win the series 3-2,” Kaif told MyNation. “England must be feeling the pressure heading into the fourth Test in Southampton. In recent times, they have not been playing well. Their batting has flopped. Their batsmen have not been able to put big runs on the board. If India can make it 2-2 it will be an interesting final Test.”

The series is already turning out to be one of the best overseas Test series for India, if not the most-engaging of all time. Everyone believed that India were out of contention after losing a close contest at Edgbaston and the hammering they were handed at Lord’s. But the way India came back in the third Test in Nottingham, with their bowlers coming to the fore – Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah picking up a five-wicket haul each – India finally seem to be living up to the No. 1 status.

Add to it the fact that the opening combination showed promising signs – Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul putting on 60 in both innings – young Rishabh Pant impressing on debut with the bat and behind the stumps, and that the players held on to their catches. Suddenly, India were the better-looking side of the two, something that Kaif feels will help the side winning the remaining two matches.

“Of course, India have a great chance to win the series,” Kaif, recently retired from cricket, said. “I think India should not have been in this position (2-1) the way they have played. They should have won the first Test at Edgbaston. Chasing less than 200 on a decent track, with the batting line-up we have, we should have won the first one. Definitely. The Lord’s Test was tough for India. The conditions were overcast.”