England fast bowler Mark Wood says India's batsmen are a world-class batting side and added that his side have to be on the money while bowling against them. Wood missed England's innings victory at Leeds and the 157-run loss at The Oval due to a shoulder injury and is in contention to return to the XI for the final Test at Old Trafford, starting September 10.
"I think it's (India) a world-class batting line-up. You go throughout the whole line-up and you think, well he is a great player, he is a good player. Rohit Sharma is being brilliant, he is tough to bowl at in any conditions," Wood said at a virtual con-call.
India have taken a 2-1 lead in the five-match series and regardless of what happens in Manchester, they cannot lose the series.
"KL Rahul, I have been really impressed with him, he has left the bowl really well early on and played really solitary and when he gets in, he has played quite beautifully. The openers are two big wickets for us," said Wood.
Wood adds that the team has plans in place for each of Team India's batsmen. "Then you have got (Cheteshwar) Pujara, (Virat) Kohli, I mean Kohli is one of the toughest players that I have bowled at in any format, so it is a world-class line-up, but if you don't believe in yourself, if you don't believe you can get them out then there is no point in playing.
"So, we believe in ourself as a group, we have plans for each batsman, we have back-up plans, sometimes it works, sometimes they don't. But when you have such a good sort of batting line up to come up against, you have to be right on the money, otherwise they punish you," said Wood.
Wood said the series has been a highly-contested one and his team "messed up" on the last day at Lords but he was optimistic that the hosts will bounce back.
"Although, we are losing these games, it is the fine margins when you come up against good batsmen, you are going to really make it count and that is what we are trying to do this game, bounce back, put in a really good performance and we hope we can do the same again," he said.
The right-arm pacer also lavished praise on the Indian pace bowlers saying he has immense respect for them. "I think, every-team has quality pacers, this is national cricket, this is not (some) sort of school or club cricket. Every team has fantastic bowlers and I respect this Indian pace attack immensely," said Wood.
"I think it is highly skilled, it has got pace, they are all slightly different, with different angles, different actions. It is great to watch, I mean, it is not great to face as a batsman, but as an opposition player, you can get huge respect.
"And (Mohammed) Shami, I have been hugely impressed with him throughout the series. His skill level, his accuracy and it has been tough for batsmen of both sides. It is a good bowling line up but we recognise that we will have to combat as best we can."
Wood also said that 30-year-old England left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who has been recalled to the Test side, has a "great chance" to play at the Old Trafford. "It is a place that can spin, he is someone if he turns up, I am sure, India will think hard about him, he did well in India, so he is going with confidence knowing that he can get these great players out. He is someone who gives 100 percent," Wood signed off.
(With inputs from PTI)