Former England pacer Darren Gough has compared the mentality of the current Indian side to the Australian outfit of the 1990s, saying Virat Kohli’s men know how to “get a team by the throat and win, win, win". India notched up an incredible come-from-behind 2-1 Test series win in Australia last month.
Down 0-1 after losing the opener, India again fought back strongly and grabbed an unassailable 2-1 lead in the ongoing four-Test rubber against England. “The mentality of this India now is like Australia in the 90s: get a team by the throat and win, win, win," Gough told the PA news agency.
On Thursday, India inflicted a 10-wicket defeat on England inside two days at Ahmedabad after dismissing the tourists for 112 and 81 in the two innings of the Pink-Ball third Test. It was after England lost the second Test in Chennai by 317 runs. Gough, who had captured seven wickets to help England beat West Indies in two days at Headingley in 2000, said the recent twin defeats in India will leave England mentally “fragile".
“This England team have been battered in back-to-back games now and it’s going to be very difficult to come back from that. You can imagine the mentality of some of the lads will be quite fragile," Gough said. The 50-year-old believes limited overs cricket was given preference over Tests by the authorities in England, who decided to rest and rotate players throughout the series.
“If I was Joe Root, I’d be livid. I feel for him because I believe one-day cricket has taken a high preference this time, just as he was getting something together with this team. Eoin Morgan has got his preferences over the Test side," he said. “I know we are building towards the T20 World Cup in India but our main players are settled, they don’t need to play every 50-over or 20-over game. “For the T20 series we should have gone in with some fringe players and seen who was ready to push for that squad.
“I really hope they can come away with a 2-2 draw, it would be a terrific result, but even then they’d be thinking ‘have we missed a chance here? What if we’d kept all our best players together?’." The fourth and final Test begins on March 4.