Former England captain Nasser Hussain is not particularly convinced with the spin options available in the England squad, stating that it was inexperience that led the team to pick four players in their XI. Team India returns to red-ball cricket when the five-match Test series against England begins in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The conditions are likely to be conducive to spin and the series will be a tough test for the visiting batsmen and their Bazball strategy. The inexperienced spinning lineup will also face a challenge when they take the field in the opening test.
England have included three players in their playing eleven: Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley and Jack Leach. Only Leach previously played for India in 2021. While Rehan Ahmed only played one Test match last year in Pakistan, Tom Hartley is making his red-ball debut for England. Also, star hitter Joe Root He can also spin his arm when required and also took a fifer against India in 2021.
“You look at other countries trying to hit India with a historic twist. “Shane Warne didn’t get as many wickets or as much success in India, whether against the Fab Five or against a different Indian batting line-up.” Hussain said Sky sports.
“I would like a more balanced bowling attack, but I guess with Rehan Ahmed’s second Test match… he has barely made his debut. Leach hasn’t bowled for a long time, they feel they need three because looking at that surface… it’s going to turn.”
“Inexperience has also led to the option of four spinners. You’ve got Leach, who hasn’t bowled since June-July. You’ve got the two inexperienced guys in Hartley and Rehan Ahmed, and you’ve got Joe Root. You think if it had been Swann or Panesar as an example, you might have gone for a more balanced side.”
England is the last team to beat India on Indian soil in a Test series
England was the last team to win a Test series against the hosts in India and that was in 2012, when Sir Alastair Cook led the team to a 2-1 victory. The English team had two experienced spinners in 2012: Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. Since the loss against England in 2012, India has not lost any test series at home and has won 16 consecutive test series at home.
England are expected to stick to their Bazball approach and are likely to struggle when the fielding starts to help the spinners. The Indian team will hope to win the Test series and continue their dominance at home in the red-ball format. England, on the other hand, would hope to repeat the 2012 performance and break India’s winning streak at home.
England captain Ben Stokes won the toss in the first Test and elected to bat first. The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad shows some pace and bounce early on as Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj get help from the track in their first spell.