Virat Kohli and co. start favourites against England: Allan Lamb
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Virat Kohli and co. start favourites against England: Allan Lamb

Former England skipper Allan Lamb has backed the Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team to change the trend and win the five-match Test series against England.

cricket Updated: Jul 24, 2018 09:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Virat Kohli,Indian cricket team,India vs. England
Virat Kohli-led India will play a five-match Test series against England from August 1, 2018. (REUTERS)

The Indian cricket team have found success in England hard to come by; in 17 tours, they have been on the losing end 13 times. Their previous two tours have seen them drubbed 4-0 (2011) and 3-1 (2014), respectively.

However, former England skipper Allan Lamb has backed the Virat Kohli-led side to change the trend and win the series this time around.

“India will start as the favourites going into the series. I expect the conditions to be in their favour as the series unfolds,” Lamb said in an interview with the Times of India.

READ | Cheteshwar Pujara says India better prepared for England than in 2014

“It has not rained here much in the last few weeks. This will result in wickets being on the drier side and that should bring the Indian spinners into play.”

He even made a brave scoreline prediction. “I would go with a 3-1 scoreline in favour of India.”

County experience, good bowling attack hold the key

Lamb believes India’s bowling - particularly their pace attack - can easily trouble the hosts. “Ishant is coming after having had a good county stint. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are capable of bowling with pace and conditions will help them get some swing as well,” he said.

“It will be interesting to see how the English quicks - James Anderson and Stuart Broad - shape up considering they are returning from injuries.”

READ | I plan in advance before visiting a new country, says Jasprit Bumrah

Lamb, who has played 79 Tests and 122 ODIs for England, also rates young Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav highly and states that India should pick him and Ravichandran Ashwin as their first-choice spinners.

“I am impressed with Kuldeep. Yes, Joe Root and a few others did read him in the one-dayers, but I would want to still see him in action in the Tests. He and Ashwin will be a good combination to go with.”

He further added that the visitors will benefit from the fact that players like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin have got county experience under their belts.

“It’s a big plus. As a bowler you would know the lengths to bowl to, and as a batsman you learn to make those minute adjustments on English pitches.”

But despite his praise for the Indian team, he did have a word of advice for the English batsman on how to deal with spin. “You can’t just walk in thinking of only employing a particular shot such as the sweep. The trick is to use your feet as much as possible.”

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 09:43 IST