Former skipper and chief national selector doubts India's ability to win five-Test series in England
Team India will embark on a five-match Test tour to England later this month with renewed hopes of winning their first overseas Test in three years.
Dinesh Karthik (left), Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (right) celebrate with teammates India's 1-0 series win over England at the Oval on August 13, 2007. Pic/Getty Images.
And as if the challenge of leading an inexperienced side in England was not enough for Mahendra Singh Dhoni, critics feel India’s biggest weak link will be the bowling department.
Dilip Vengsarkar during the launch of his academy website at the Cricket Club of India yesterday. Pic/Satyajit Desai.
Former India skipper and chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar does not believe Indian bowlers have the firepower to dismiss the hosts twice to win a Test.
‘Hope India does well’
“It is going to be tough because we need bowlers who can take 20 wickets to win a Test. Unfortunately, I don’t see anybody doing it. We will play with four bowlers and we need at least two of them to take 10 wickets (each) in a Test, which I don’t see happening.
“But then, it is cricket and you never know what can happen. England is very good at home, but I hope we do well,” Vengsarkar said on the sidelines of the launch of his cricket academy website: www.vengsarkar.in
Back in 2007...
Vengsarkar was chairman of selectors when Rahul Dravid’s team won the 2007 Test series in England 1-0. India will play two practice matches ( Leicester and Derby) before the first Test at Nottingham on July 9. Vengsarkar said two practice matches are too less to adapt to English conditions.
“They should have played at least three to four practice games. The first couple of Tests will be tough, as they will try to get used to the conditions. They might just settle down later on in the series,” said Vengsarkar, who is the only overseas player to score three consecutive Test centuries at Lord’s. Only three Indian players (Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma) have played Test cricket in England, and this is likely to make things even more difficult for the visitors.
Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said fielding an inexperienced squad is going to be a challenge. “Inexperience is always going to be a challenge, especially with guys like Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and Laxman retiring within a span of a couple of years, and with Sehwag also not in the squad.
“Nevertheless, in spite of what people have been saying, they (youngsters) had reasonable tours (to South Africa and New Zealand) batting wise. They have gained experience and the IPL helps playing good quality seam bowling day in and day out in the nets. There is no doubt it is going to be a tough tour,” the former Mumbai captain said.
Vengsarkar said the key would be to adapt quickly. “The Indian team is very talented. The ball will swing a lot, at least in the first half of the series. The youngsters will have to adapt quickly.”
5: The number of Tests India have won in England since 1932