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You have to be a guru to be able to topple India, opines Matthew Hayden

IANS | February 20, 2024 03:35 PM

NEW DELHI: Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden has lauded host India's indomitable spirit and formidable home record and sees Rohit Sharma and Co. as the favourites to clinch the five-match Test series against England.

After levelling the five-match Test series 1-1 at Vizag, India secured a thumping 434-run win to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Hayden emphasised India's ability to rise to the occasion, even in the absence of key players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.

"I think it's India all the way. I was looking at the result this morning and thought that India, as a touring side, is a challenge for this reason. It's a battle of energy and conservation of that resource, which is very limited, " Hayden told Star Sports.

Hayden also highlighted the mental challenges faced by visiting teams in India, where the relentless energy of the crowd and the intense pressure of the contest can be overwhelming. He stressed the importance of maintaining composure and focus amidst the fervent atmosphere, a test that England has struggled to pass consistently.

"The game, the spectators and the country just keeps coming at you. There's this great energy in India, especially in winning against England, and you can put Australia on that list as well, especially now. You have to be a guru and have to have a mindset of stillness just to be able to survive mentally there. You have already seen England this series get in front of games, but not be able to sustain it. And it is because of the relentless nature of having to turn up every moment, every ball, every session, " Hayden said.

Despite England's valiant efforts led by Ben Stokes, the task ahead remains daunting. While England remains optimistic about their chances, India's home advantage and unwavering resolve present a formidable obstacle.

The fourth Test match is scheduled to kick off at Ranchi on Friday.

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