England head coach Chris Silverwood has suggested that they will look to play two spinners in India with him expecting Ollie Pope and Moeen Ali returning for the first Test. Both Pope and Ali had to miss out on the Sri Lanka series due to an injury and a Covid-19 positive result respectively.
England thwarted Sri Lanka at their own den but things will not get easier in the upcoming series against India who haven’t lost a single home Test in almost four years and haven’t lost a series in nine years. The incredible dominance at home made the series a big throne for the English team and given a number of first-choice players missing due to ECB rotation policy, it will be a gigantic one for the visitors.
Chris Silverwood, however, maintained that they have resources at their disposal to take on the Indian team and hoped that they can utilise the services of Moeen Ali and Ollie Pope during the Test series. Pope was in great batting form in the practice game ahead of the Sri Lanka tour while Ali caught Covid-19 which ruled him out of the series.
"I'm hoping Ollie will be able to throw his hat in the ring for that first Test. The sooner we can get him back the better it is for us. Moeen should be available for the first Test, too. He's been through everything he needs to go through and is progressing nicely,” England head coach, Chris Silverwood, said from Galle, on Tuesday, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
"We'll have to look at the wicket when we get there, but history may suggest you'll be looking at two spinners. We have to have a look at how the rest of the bowling attack will look beyond that. I'm open to ideas all the time. We'll look at the stats, what has been successful at that ground before and then take the lead from it."
England will be without a number of first-choice players in line with their rotation policy. Johnny Bairstow will miss the first two Tests, Jos Buttler will miss the last three and Mark Wood misses the first two of the series. While Silverwood stated that it is tough for everyone in the bio-bubble, he further hoped the supporters would understand the system.
"We've got to look after our people. We're spending a lot of time looking in hotel rooms inside bio-secure bubbles and it's not easy. It's good that we're being proactive and looking after people. I'm perfectly happy with the system we're using. So I'd just ask them [supporters] to understand why we do what we do, we're resting in the best interests of that player and equally to get the best out of them long term."