Former England right-hand seam bowler Steve Harmison opened the national team’s performance in the first Test against India in Nottingham. Although the opening test of the five-match series yielded a draw, the home team had many positive results. Steve Harmison believes that Joe Root’s fight was the biggest positive for England in both innings.
Joe Root scored the best in both innings and kept England’s innings together to keep his head above water. The 30-year-old scored 64 of England’s 183 runs in the first innings, followed by a hundred under pressure in the second to chase 209 to India. In addition, the bowling performances of the hosts also rose above his weight, especially Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant in the first innings.
Steve Harmison feels that England need to fix a few things, especially their top order before the second Test, as they have not been sacked. The 42-year-old believes Dom Sibley has done a remarkable job, but he feels the opener needs a better strike rate. Harmison also recalled the potential of Ollie Pope to come back, noting that he would be fit at some point.
“There are some things that England needs to fix. England has more questions than India about the demand for Lords. They have to fix their highest order as one, two and three have not been fired. Sibley has batted for a long time and that’s his job, but the strike rate should be better. But he covered the fold and if he had not done so, England would have lost by the end of day four. So they have question marks. They have Ollie Pope to come back. I think he needs to fit in somewhere. “Rugby rugby Test matches, go with a four-man attack, with question marks over Sam Curran, how much he has,” Harmison told Cricinfo.
Rugby rugby Test matches with three days off will be a big question: Steve Harmison
However, Steve Harmison underlined that a backbone Test match with a four-man attack, with two veterans, is a big question. At the same time, Durham fast bowler Joe Root came under the runs as the biggest positive for the hosts and also praised the bowling attack. He conceded that a frightening Indian batting line-up within 90 overs and less than 300 in the first innings was a good prospect. Steve Harmison therefore believes that the balance of the attack can be taken into account, but Root remains their biggest plus.
‘You have 35 and 39-year-old experienced bowlers at the armory. But back-to-back Test matches with three days off are going to be a big question. So, would not be surprised if there is a bowling change. Root is a massive positive, big positive and the way England have bowled, not very bad balls, and you are well in your right to say that it does not deserve to be dropped. If you look at it, the caliber of the Indian batsman, who bowls them out within 90 overs and less than 300 runs in the first innings of a Test, should be very good here. From this point of view, the balance of England could be looked at, but the biggest plus for England is Joe Root, ” he added.