What’s the story?
Former English skipper, Alan Lamb has backed India to overcome the odds and beat the hosts; a heist they haven’t been able to achieve since their victorious campaign of 2007.
“India will start as the favourites going into the series. I expect the conditions to be in their favour as the series unfolds. It has not rained here much in the last few weeks. This will result in wickets being on the drier side and that should bring the Indian spinners into play,” Lamb was quoted by Times of India on Monday.
The threat of Spinners
With England experiencing heatwave across the country, Lamb feels the pitches for the Test series will aid the hosts and that they should play two spinners in their playing XI. “I am impressed with Kuldeep. Yes, Joe Root and a few others did read him in the one-dayers, but I would want to still see him in action in the Tests. He and Ashwin will be a good combination to go with,” said Lamb, a veteran of 79 Tests and 122 ODIs for the Poms.
The former English skipper feels believes India’s batsmen will benefit from their respective county stints earlier in the season. “It’s a big plus. As a bowler, you would know the lengths to bowl to, and as a batsman, you learn to make those minute adjustments on English pitches.”
On facing the Indian spinners, Lamb advised the English batsmen to bide their time. “You can’t just walk in thinking of only employing a particular shot such as the sweep. The trick is to use your feet as much as possible,” he said.
Though India will be without their talismanic swing bowler Buvneshwar Kumar and would miss Bumrah for at least two Tests, Lamb still rates India’s pace-attack pretty highly. “Ishant is coming after having had a good county stint. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Mohd Shami are capable of bowling with pace and conditions will help them get some swing as well. It will be interesting to see how the English quicks – James Anderson and Stuart Broad – shape up considering they are returning from injuries,” he asserted.
When it came to predicting the scoreline for the series, Lamb backed India, who have lost 7 of their last nine Test matches in England to win the rubber.
“I would go with a 3-1 scoreline in favour of India.”
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