Former England captain Alastair Cook believes the Indian batters might be under the scanner in the upcoming five-match Test series against England.
Cook reckons India will be in trouble if the ball moves around in the upcoming five-match Test series in the UK, notwithstanding their formidable batting line-up.
Back in June, India had miserably failed to deliver good result in soggy overseas conditions as they lost the World Test Championship (WTC) final to New Zealand at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Kyle Jamieson’s five-wicket haul broke the backbone of India’s star-studded batting lineup in the first innings.
“India are a great side. England will always fancy their chances more if that ball moves. If the conditions are like that in the month of August with moisture around, England will fancy bowling to that Indian side.
“Yes, they are a world-class batting unit. But their big weakness is the ball that moves, if it nips. You always fancy your chances against them,” Cook said on BBC Test Match Special Podcast episode.
The upcoming five-Test series promises to be a cracking encounter as India will be looking to end their Test series drought in England. India last won a Test series in England way back in 2007, before going on to lose on their next three tours – 0-4 in 2011, 1-3 in 2014 and 1-4 in 2018. Earlier this year, England toured India for a four-Test series, which they lost 1-3 and missed out qualifying for the World Test Championship final.
Cook, who scored a ton both in his maiden and final Test, observed that India in the final of WTC “got a bit ahead of themselves” by choosing two spinners over an extra seamer despite overcast conditions.
“They (India) got a bit confident in picking that side three days out before (the game) and playing two spinners where they pretty much knew it was going to rain for a lot of that game. So a lot of seam bowling was bowled. Even though their spinners are world-class, they got a little bit ahead of themselves there,” he stated.
While the black caps entered the WTC title clash after a morale-boosting Test series win over hosts England, the Indians were left to depend on intra-squad matches after arriving in the United Kingdom.
“I did say New Zealand were going to win that game purely down to the fact that they were match-hardened. Those two Test matches against England were such perfect preparation,” Cook said.
“Intra-squad games, as good as your intention might be, it hasn’t got the same intensity. First hour might be really competitive but everything goes less and less and less. India were hard done by that way,” Cook added.