Spin-bowling all-rounder Liam Dawson, who was called upon by England to replace injured Zafar Ansari for the fourth Test, has admitted that it would be a challenge to bowl to the Indian batsmen. The limited-overs specialist also expressed surprise after receiving his first Test call-up.
The England team management called upon the services of opener Keaton Jennings and all-rounder Liam Dawson following injuries to Haseeb Hameed and Zafar Ansari for the final two Tests against India. Dawson, who will join England's squad in the next two days after a spell in the Bangladesh Premier League, hopes to make the most out of the spinning tracks in India.
“From what I’ve seen, the wickets in the series have taken some spin but also looked good to bat on. My job is to offer control but, if the wicket is spinning, keep landing it in the right area and, hopefully, the wicket does the rest,” Dawson said, reported The Sun.
Speaking about the challenge of facing India's strong batting line-up led by Virat Kohli, the Hampshire lad said, “There’s no doubt the Indian batsmen are exceptional. It’s an amazing challenge for me and, if I play, it’ll be a huge honour. I was very surprised to be called up. I didn’t expect it at all but it’s a great opportunity and very exciting.”
Having made his limited-overs debut for England earlier in July this year, Dawson hoped he could gain control over his bowling in the long format.
“I admit my white-ball cricket is stronger but I’ve played a lot of red-ball cricket and feel I’m still improving in that area. If I get the opportunity, hopefully I’ll offer some control with the ball. That’s what I do with Hampshire, that’s all I can do if selected for England.”
He added: “Coping under pressure is a big part of bowling in T20, without a doubt. You can maybe get away with a few more bad balls but, in Test cricket, you’ve got to be on the money. If I do play, it’s going to be an exciting challenge and will only improve me.”
Dawson also backed his selection into the Test side after he was chosen ahead of Somerset’s Jack Leach.
“I think I did OK in the Championship last season. People see my season as getting only 20 wickets and say it is very poor, but I did bowl well and gave Hampshire control. That’s something I can hopefully do if I play in the Test match. That’s my job and it’s been my job for the last three years. I’ve played a fair amount of cricket in the last few weeks and it’s been good to experience franchise cricket overseas. I haven’t taken many wickets but I feel I’ve bowled well,” the 26-year old said.
The fourth Test between India and England will be played between December 8-12 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.