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Taking a dig at the Indian approach ahead of the Old Trafford Test, former England skipper Andrew Strauss has said that the visitors not only need more aggression but will also find it extremely difficult to win a Test match with four bowlers in their XI.
"I think India have a big problem if they are playing with only four bowlers. That is a mistake. I don't think they can win matches with just four bowlers," opined Strauss. "I understand they want to select a team based on conditions and pitch. But considering those factors, they got it completely wrong at the Ageas Bowl. The pitch at Southampton has a reputation of turning towards the end of the match. So I was very surprised to see them not play R Ashwin there," said Strauss. Having a win under their belt at Lord's, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and company decided to go with an extra batsman in the third Test at Rose Bowl. The hosts drew level the five-match series and Strauss was surprised by the moves of the Indian think tank.
"I was even more surprised that they decided to play an extra batsman and leave out Stuart Binny. It showed that they were negative and had a defensive mindset. They were trying not to lose the match and when you play with that outlook, more often than not, you will get beaten," he added.
India lost by 266 runs at Southampton after earning a 95-run victory in the second Test and Strauss lauded the English effort.
"It was a good comeback from that Lord's defeat. That was a bitter pill for England to swallow because everything was in their favour and they squandered that chance. So there was real pressure on them at Southampton and they put on a near-perfect performance.
"From the moment they won the toss and elected to bat, they put India under pressure. Their captain is back in form, Ian Bell is getting runs, James Anderson and Stuart Broad bowled better as well. It you have a perfect template of how to win a Test match, that was it," said Strauss.
"With this new team that England have, it is evolving Test by Test and it is important for senior players to show junior players the way. Until this third Test, it was the other way round and that's not ideal.
"It was the reason why England haven't won more Test matches off-late