India vs England: Hosts England employ rookie spinner to counter Kuldeep Yadav threat

Akhil Patel kept pitching the balls in areas identified by England batting coach Mark Ramprakash and while the lower order was finding it difficult to tackle him, skipper Joe Root was picking him off quite easily.

cricket Updated: Aug 01, 2018 14:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs England,India tour of England,IND vs ENG
India's Kuldeep Yadav during nets before Test at Edgbaston(Action Images via Reuters)

There is still a conundrum facing the Indian team over the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav as the spinner in the side, but the England team are not leaving anything to chance in their preparations.

Leading upto the first Test match at Edgbaston, the England management has acquired the services of Akhil Patel, who is a Nottingham born chinaman bowler.

He is also the younger brother of England International Samit Patel.

“They called me a couple of days back and I was very happy to do it. Of course the idea is counter Kuldeep,” Akhil was as quoted by the Times of India.

He kept pitching the balls in areas identified by England batting coach Mark Ramprakash and while the lower order was finding it difficult to tackle him, skipper Joe Root was picking him off quite easily.

Apart from Akhil, England have roped in other spinners to help them counter the threat which will be posed by the Indian tweakers. As identified by ESPN, Essex club cricketer William Blackwell and Yorkshire teenager Sam Wisniewski were draft in as to dish out an extended dose of spin to the England batting.

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Kuldeep wreaked havoc in the limited overs format as he picked up 14 wickets across the five limited-overs matches. The hosts were all at sea against the variations and kept prodding and praying against the mystery of the young bowler. Although, there were indications that they had managed to conquer the initial demons towards the end of the leg, it was not without creating a substantial mark on the tour.

Such was the impact, that they even took the refuge of ‘Merlyn’, the famed bowling machine and tried to decipher the spin. Machine to counter the mystique of a man!

However, according to the early pictures emerging from Edgbaston, the pitch may not be as conducive to spinners, which might well mean India opt for R Ashwin as the lone spinner in the eleven. But then it is Virat Kohli and he certainly doesn’t mind carving out his own headlines.

First Published: Aug 01, 2018 13:45 IST