Indian Test team    AFP
Indian Test team AFP

After a successful away tour in South Africa, India now eye a successful England tour. The bowling line-up has proved they are capable of taking 20 wickets every time they take field, as they did in South Africa. India also have a decent batting line-up, an amalgamation of experience and aggression. Anil Kumble talked about India’s chances in England during an event: “I feel we possess a good all-round unit. We have a strong bowling group which can pick 20 wickets consistently. If you look at the batting line-up, we possess a lot of experience. On an average, the number of Test matches played by our batsmen stands at about 50. Also, the experience of having toured there before will definitely help as they will be aware of the conditions.”

Indian spinners played a vital role in India’s victory in the limited-overs series in South Africa. On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja shared 11 wickets between them against Afghanistan in the latter’s debut Test.

“Spinners will definitely play a major role on this tour of England. In the second half of the summer, we do know that the wickets will be more suitable for them. There will be wear and tear on the wickets, and spinners will come into play much earlier than in the first half,” said Kumble. “Conditions in the first half [of summer] in the months of May and June are more challenging in England [for spinners] because of the rain and dampness.”

Hardik Pandya bowling a few overs in the middle allows the team to play an extra spinner. However, Kumble believes the decision of playing more than one spinner will depend on the conditions there: “Maybe, yes. But again, it will all depend on the surface they are playing.”