Bat big and win...
Mohsin Khan, who coached Pakistan to their 3-0 Test win over England in the UAE earlier this year, sends out a warning: "It will take some doing to beat this England team."
Mohsin (57), who was replaced as coach by Dav Whatmore, reckons the Indian batsmen hold the key to the hosts’ fortunes in the four-Test battle starting in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
“Much depends on the type of tracks. If they are turners, then things will not work in favour of England, but India still have to play very good, sensible and professional cricket to beat this England team,” Mohsin told MiD DAY over the phone from Pakistan yesterday.
The handsome former opener put the onus on the Indian batting line-up.
400-plus a must
“They must get 400-plus scores. If they don’t, then this England batting order is capable of coping very well with the situation. Remember, England have a good set of pacemen and quality spinners in Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. I won’t call Panesar a perfect bowler, but he is very, very good in all forms of the game.
“Swann is always open to a challenge and has a big heart. Overall, England are well equipped. I am very interested to see what happens at the start of the series.”
Mohsin indicated that it’s not a bad ploy to have turners while responding to a question relating to India’s 0-4 defeat in England last year:
“India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka struggle every time they go to England and Australia. But then, when these sides come to our part of the world, they struggle too. It is only natural to use our advantage as they use theirs.”
However, he revealed that when it came to pitches for the England vs Pakistan series in the UAE, he and captain Misbah-ul-Haq got what they wanted — tracks with bounce.
“I said, we don’t want slow and low wickets. We want tracks with bounce which will help our pacemen and spinners. And, that is what happened,” he said.
Mohsin called that series win “a dream come true” and compared the achievement to Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup win Down Under.
After the series against Pakistan, England shared the series honours in Sri Lanka 1-1. Will a series win continue to elusive for team director Andy Flower’s pack? We’ll know in a month’s time.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Dhanraj Pillay relives Indian Hockey's dream run of 1998!