Owais Shah has reckoned that the English spinners would be tested heavily against the Indian batting lineup in the first two Tests, where the pitch is expected to be helpful to the spinners. However, he insisted that the way pacers bowled in Sri Lanka would give the management immense confidence.
England would arguably walk into the India series confidently on the back of their whitewash over Sri Lanka in the sub-continent. It wasn’t just their batting which clicked in the Island nation but also their bowling department, where the pacers made as much influence on the proceedings as their spinners. In fact, in the second Test, at the Galle, it was James Anderson who was the difference between the two sides, with his crafty bowling performance.
Going into the India series, it is a given that the English spinners would be crucial. The last time England came away with a victory in India was when the duo of Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar clicked in tandem. He also reckoned that the spinners would be tested heavily against the strong Indian batting lineup.
"The England spin department will be really tested against strong batting line-ups like India. Yes, Chennai's condition will favour India more than England. Also, India has an upper hand with the spin attack they have over England," Shah told Sports Today, reported India Today.
"England are blessed with the kind of fast bowlers we have, especially in the sub-continent. Also, we have the luxury of Ben Stokes as an all-rounder who can rotate the slots for fast bowlers," he added.
While he insisted that the spinners didn’t quite create the ripples in Sri Lanka, he emphasised on the bowling performance from both Stuart Broad and James Anderson to carry the bowling attack in India.
"Winning in Sri Lanka by 2-0 is an achievement boasting team's confidence but to be honest both the spinners didn't bowl their best but somehow managed to win the series in Sri Lanka,” he added.
“Moreover, for me the encouraging part was to see the seamers. The way Stuart Broad bowled in conditions which were tailor-made for the spin bowling gave control to the captain. Followed by Jimmy Anderson who did the same role in the second Test match," Shah concluded.