Former Indian medium batsman VVS Laxman has described the upcoming series against England as India’s greatest challenge in the new World Test Championship cycle. The five-test series between England and India starting next week will kick off the new edition of the WTC after the opening tournament ends in June. VVS Laxman believes that a good show in England would go a long way for India.
Despite India’s humiliating eight-wake loss to New Zealand in the WTC final, several pundits have backed India to beat England in the Test series on the latter’s poor results. The Three Lions suffered a series defeat at home to New Zealand for the first time in seven years in June, which revealed their line-up. In addition, all-rounder Ben Stokes has the upper hand due to the lack of the entire leg.
VVS Laxman believes England would be India’s biggest challenge in the upcoming WTC cycle as South Africa is not the same side. The 134 Test veteran thinks India should expect its first straight win in South Africa later this year. Laxman stated that India needs to perform well in England to increase its confidence and world rankings in the longest format.
“This series would be India’s largest investigation during the new WTC cycle. With all due respect, South Africa is not quite the same team as it used to be and India has done well in this country over the years, so they are imagining their chances of a first series win there later in the year. Performing well in England will do wonders for India’s confidence as well as its standing in test cricket. Laxman told the Times of India.
Ben Stokes is considered to be one of the fiercest competitors: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman admitted that Ben Stokes’ absence from the upcoming series is a massive loss for England and underscores the dire reality of the mental health problems caused by the bubble. The 47-year-old emphasized that even the toughest competitors struggle with mental health problems and that seeking help is not a sign of weakness.
“England must do without Ben Stokes, whose retreat into mental health problems is another grim reminder of the extraordinary times we live in. Ben is considered to be one of the toughest competitors, driven by enormous mental strength to go on the field with his brilliance. What this latest instance shows is that this is a problem that can affect anyone at any stage, and seeking an instance is definitely not a sign of weakness. ” he added.
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