It's now obvious that India are looking to hit England hard with spin — the perennial Achilles' heel of the visitors. And to make that weapon even more potent, rolling out rank turners is an option India might not be shy of resorting to.
And with barely 48 hours to go before the visiting side land in Mumbai, it became apparent it is payback time for the humiliation in England last summer.
Virat Kohli, India's best batsman at the moment and one of those who will lead the effort to blunt the pace attack that sealed a 4-0 series rout last summer, sees nothing wrong in using home conditions to the hilt. “Why not? After all England and Australia also gave us the flattest of tracks for practice games and then rolled out green tops in Tests,” Kohli said on Saturday.
“If they wanted to be fair, they could have given us the same wickets for practice games as well. Now, they will have to play on turning tracks and we will find out where they stand.”
India's rising star, however, knows England are too good to be dismissed, despite their major weakness.
“Kevin Pietersen's return is a huge boost for them. He's a quality batsman, their best against spin. But with England depending largely on him to negate the challenge of spin, he would under some pressure to perform,” he said.
On the other hand, Kohli dismissed talk about Indian batsmen's weakness against pace and bounce. “I don't know how the perception that we can't play short balls has come about. Can anyone say that players like Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman can't play short balls?” asked Kohli.
“No batsman is comfortable against bouncers. Credit should be given to bowlers instead of finding fault with the batsman if he gets out to a good bouncer. Interestingly, the question about technique is asked only with regard to bouncers. Not a word is said if someone falls playing a cover drive.”
The youngster, training with the Delhi Ranji team at the Ferozshah Kotla, also backed his under-fire skipper MS Dhoni. “I feel it's wrong to point finger at Dhoni. He won us the World Cup and led the team to the No 1 spot in Tests. He has done a tremendous job as a skipper and has groomed youngsters.”