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England will be wary of India bowling attack

"With Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth also back, England should be wary of this Indian attack," said India bowling coach Eric Simons in a chat with N Ananthanarayanan.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2011 23:55 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times

India's pace success has been one of the highpoints of the West Indies tour. In the absence of Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma has found a second wind, and Praveen Kumar's swing bowling has been a revelation.

This augurs well for India as they embark on a tough England tour immediately after this series.

"With Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth also back, England should be wary of this Indian attack," said India bowling coach Eric Simons.

On India's pacers' showing in the West Indies...
Ishant Sharma had already started taking big strides in South Africa. From a technical perspective, what I saw of him in the IPL gave me a lot of confidence. I am disappointed about Munaf's injury here; we've been working hard on increasing his pace. His accuracy, particularly in Tests, would have been an advantage.
And no one really knew how Praveen Kumar was going to do in Test cricket. But with his swing he has kept batsmen guessing all the time. So, all in all, it has been a fine showing.

Ishant Sharma's problems and return to form?
Batsmen keep trying to figure out bowlers, so one constantly needs to reinvent himself. Sometimes pressure forces players to try and change too many things technically. And in trying to do that, he lost some of his shape as a bowler.
To identify what is wrong is only 10% of the problem; fixing it takes time. That is why the improvement through South Africa, and in the IPL and even more so here.

What were Ishant's problems?
His body position forced his grip to change. Now he's more upright, and his wrist is in a better position. Only when you are confident about the technique and start bowling at the pace you are capable of, you could be at your best.

Why is the injury-prone Munaf Patel so important?
We have seen how integral he's become to our one-day attack. He's going to do the same in Test cricket. Barbados would have been an ideal wicket for him, and England will be the same. We are happy to add one or two dimensions to his style. He has to bowl more and more in Test cricket, and that will happen from the training we have been doing.

On what to expect in England
Zaheer Khan can swing the ball, and so can Sreesanth. Ishant has got real pace and bounce, and he's going to bring the ball back off the wicket and can reverse swing the ball.
Munaf has got pace and bounce and PK swings the ball. We have the variety, Harbhajan is there and Amit Mishra can take the ball away.
It's really about making sure each one is at his best and allow the captain and coach to select the team they want.

How will England view this Indian attack?
If I were in England side, I would certainly be respectful of the Indian attack. I'd imagine they would respect our seam attack as much as they respected our spin attacks in the past.

Harbhajan's wicket-taking skills are being questioned
You have to look at the role a spinner has to play sometimes in a four-man attack.
It's not just about taking wickets. In the Mohali Test against Australia (last year), Pragyan Ojha bowled 20 overs for 28 runs. That's an important spell. That spell allowed us to haul Australia back when we weren't getting wickets, and then the breakthrough came.
Harbhajan is so crucial to us. People see him as an attacking force and tend to play him defensively as well.

On pacers finding consistency
It's basically about learning good habits. I have even learnt the words ‘achchi aadat' and ‘buri aadat'.
I have very specific objectives. If you bowl 3000 balls in the next year and most of it are in and around the off-stump, chances are that's where you would bowl when put under pressure. But if you spray most of them down the leg side, there is every chance you will go for runs. It's about bringing that discipline into practice.
Along with physical fitness, mental fitness is crucial as well. Do not try to be someone you are not. Concentrate on who you are and play accordingly.

First Published: Jul 04, 2011 23:51 IST