"India's performance concerns me that my 3-1 prediction could be wrong" - Michael Vaughan

Can Virat Kohli and Co. make a comeback in the 4th Test?
Can Virat Kohli and Co. make a comeback in the 4th Test?

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said India's recent performances have got him concerned about his pre-series prediction, where he had backed the visitors to win 3-1. However, Vaughan admitted that both teams are still a bit unpredictable and anything can happen in the remaining two matches.

Before the series, Michael Vaughan had labeled India favorites because the hosts aren't at full strength. The effects did show in the first two games, where India dominated the rain-marred Trent Bridge Test before winning emphatically at Lord's. But Joe Root and Co. turned it around completely at Headingley, outplaying India by an innings and 76 runs to level the series at one apiece.

Speaking to Cricbuzz after the game, Michael Vaughan said the first day of the fourth Test at The Oval will be key in deciding the future of the series.

"I'll say that from what I have seen from India this week, it concerns me that my prediction could be wrong. But I do think we have two teams like Jekyll and Hyde (From the famous novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). You're not really sure what's going to arrive at The Oval... That first day is going to be hugely important for the Indian side. If they win the first day, they'll be fine, they'll come back into the series and I am sure will gain that confidence. But again, if they lose that first day at The Oval, Headingley's memories might come flipping back," Vaughan said.

Michael Vaughan asserted that India were still better than England overall. He said that skipper Virat Kohli needs to make a few tangible and intangible corrections for the visitors to reach their full potential.

"I still think India have a better Test team but this England side at home, they'll take some beatings. Only New Zealand have beaten a Joe Root side in English conditions. So, Virat has got a lot of work to do over the next few days to get his team, first and foremost mentally right but also selection. They have to get the team selected correctly for the conditions they'll find in London," the former captain added.

Great teams of the past didn't need criticism and prodding to do well: Michael Vaughan

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan.

When asked whether this Indian team is showing traits of a side that always needs some prodding to work well together, Michael Vaughan agreed. However, he added that this might not be aligned with their goal of becoming world dominators like the Australian, West Indian and Pakistani sides of yore.

"Maybe they are the kind of team that keeps needing to be prodded and criticized and they'll come back fine on Thursday. You (Harsha Bhogle, host) mentioned the Australian side, the West Indies of the 80's, Pakistan of the early 90's they didn't need prodding, they didn't need criticism. They drove and drove and kind of made it an awful time for an opposing side," Michael Vaughan added.

Interestingly, Virat Kohli, too, touched upon something similar in the post-match press conference. He said his team likes situations where "people come with doubts" at them. The Men in Blue are arguably in that exact situation. All that remains to be seen is whether they can walk the talk and continue this trend of fightbacks.

Edited by Sai Krishna
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