A lead past 250, pushing 300 will be enough for England: Nasser Hussain

England have two spinners in their ranks who can exploit the rough developed in the pitch and will work in their favour.

Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

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Like the last four times in the series, England captain Joe Root once again won the toss and decided to bat first. What that determined is India will bat last and the dryness in the pitch was expected to only make life tougher for the batters as the game progressed. After a good start and a poor slump,  England finished strong on 332. India, on the other hand, had a worse start but the lower order helped them end just 40 runs short of the hosts. Based on the turn of events thus far Nasser Hussain has predicted the key for England to secure a victory.

As has been the trend in the series, teams look half the batting unit they are in the second innings. The pitch at The Oval already has developed a few rough patches and the ball is turning big whenever pitched in that region. It will only intensify as more bowlers step on those areas and on the last two days the spinners will have a big role to play in the match.

Rashid and Moeen at their service

Moeen Ali had exploited that exceptionally in the previous Test, finishing with a nine-wicket match haul. They also have Adil Rashid who can pitch the ball in the rough outside the right-hander’s leg-stump. Overall the Indian team has failed to scale two moderate targets in the first and fourth Test which further qualifies the fact that runs in the fourth innings are really tough to get.

Naseer thus thinks it is important that England manage to extend their lead beyond 250 and as close to 300 as possible if not beyond. Having that many runs on the board will most probably assure them a victory.

“I think this pitch will turn and batting last, as we’ve seen in this series when they have had to chase two relatively small totals, India have struggled. If England get their lead up past 250, pushing 300, on a fourth or fifth-day Oval pitch then they’ll feel they’ve got enough,” the former England captain said while talking on Sky Sports.

The home team is in a strong position at the start of day 4, they already have a lead of over 170 runs and with 8 wickets in hand will fancy their chances of batting till the last session and then declaring to have a shot at the Indians.

“There’s movement for the seamers still, India’s quicks have gone past the edge on a number of occasions, and they’ll be plenty in there for Ali. Then you’ve got Adil Rashid for the tail, as they often use him, so if they get those 100 or so more runs, it looks good for England,” Nasser concluded.

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