Former English spinner Graeme Swann believes that English batsmen don’t tend to pick wrist spin well and India can use this vulnerability against them. Swann also feels that Virat Kohli’s Surrey stint is a great opportunity for him and the skipper could inspire Indians very well if all goes well.
The Indian cricket team is scheduled to tour England between July and September 2018 to play in five Tests, three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). Graeme Swann believes that Indian wrist spinners can do well in England as the English players don’t tend to bowl or pick up wrist spin well.
"Wrist spinners can do well in England. Yasir Shah did well for Pakistan last year. So, the English players don't tend to bowl wrist spin or pick it very well. If they're fit and they're picked and bowled, they could do very well. The trick is that in England you've to get people on the front foot, because the wicket's slightly slow, so as soon as you're slightly short, you get murdered around the ground. Why Yasir did really well for Pakistan is that he bowled quick leg spin..did
Swann said that there is a big gap in the spin department with the absence of Moeen Ali. England had a perfect run earlier against India but this transition phase might shift the odds in India’s favour.
"But India's batting is a lot better. The last time around, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad just threw India away and Moeen Ali bowled really well. This time around, they've got Broad and Anderson who're still brilliant, still world class, but the back-up
Graeme Swann feels that Kohli’s Surrey stint will be a good experience and there is good support for foreign players taking part in England’s contest.
"It's good Virat's been given a chance to go play for Surrey. He'll enjoy Surrey trust me. The wickets at the Oval are unbelievable to bat on. He will have a good tour. I think it's good. I think it's good that English cricket allowed foreign players to come over and train before," said the 39-year-old.
"Unless he plays against Jimmy (James Anderson) or Broady (Stuart Broad) in county games, I don't think it'll help because they're so much better than the county bowlers. Swann said that it all would come down to how Kohli tackles Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson.
"The batting line-up
To finish, Swann showed his support for England skipper Joe Root to win the battle against Kohli, which would be an interesting challenge.
"I'd back Joe (Root) to win that battle, but I'm a bit nervous about Virat," he said before signing off.