India in England 2014 June 6, 2014

Vengsarkar fears India's chances in England

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dilip Vengsarkar, the former India captain, has voiced concern over the ability of India's bowlers to take 20 wickets in a match during the upcoming England tour.

Ishant Sharma is the only quick bowler who has Test experience bowling in English conditions, and the rest of the quicks - Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron - have 13 Tests between them. Ishwar Pandey and Pankaj Singh are yet to earn their first caps. What makes it even tougher for India is that they have not played a five-Test series in over a decade.

"We need to have bowlers who can get them out twice," he said at the launch of a website for his cricket academy. "We will play with four bowlers and out of them you have to have two who can get 10 wickets in a match, and I don't see anyone [capable of] doing it."

India have two practice matches to help acclimatise to conditions before the first Test on July 8, but Vengsarkar believes it is insufficient.

"First couple of Test matches will be tough because they have no clue about the conditions and they must prepare well," he said. "Two practice matches are quite less, they must play at least four-five matches before the first Test match.

"They are going in the first half of the summer, it will swing and seam more than India. Youngsters will have to adapt to the conditions very quickly. In Australia you have to adapt to the bounce and England you have adapt to the movement of the delivery all around."

India's previous tour to England sparked off a lull in overseas form. They lost eight Tests in a row and went down 0-1 to South Africa and New Zealand. Their most recent victory away from home was against West Indies in 2011.

Vengsarkar is the only visiting batsman to score three centuries at Lord's, one of which came during a four-Test series in 1979. They had been in England for the World Cup and, he said, the extra time had helped the tourists.

"We were there at least a month in advance before the Test match started," he said "So we could adjust and adapt to the conditions."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on June 13, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    I am also concerned with India's chances in Engalnd over a 5 match test series and it all starts with the bowling. I am looking at Sri Lanka's Day 1 at Lords. Great start but did not have the teeth to see it through with England finishing the day at 345/5. The Indian attack has a similar feel to it. Lack of teeth to put sustained pressure on England and to take 20 wickets in the match. Equally worrying is the ability of the Indian batsmen to cope against the pressure of big scores that our bowling may well allow the English batsmen to put up. This has less to do with ability but more to do with lack of expereince not only in Test cricket but specifically in England. It baffles me that Umesh Yadav is not in this bowling side.

  • san on June 12, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    So why only two practice matches... again..... did not we say the last series.. we needed more time to get acclimatized.... what if one or both of these are lost to rain or something....

    why does BCCI do the same mistake over and over again... and expects different results.... what is the need for the so-called bangladesh tour... even otherwise...half the test team is not playing in that series.. why do not they take the flight today and go to England.. a month before the series starts... WHY?

  • san on June 12, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    Finally... time to come out of the break... good old TEST matches are here.... My only concern is that, in a TEST match scenario ...Ashwin and Jadeja can only be the 4+1 allrounders... and can't be treated as specialist spinner like Kumble.. even doubt if they can match harbhajan from his good days....

    In test scenario.. India should have nurtured a genuine spinner like Mishra, Ojha who with enough experience would have developed into a TEST quality spinners by now, even outside the sub-continent.

  • Chetan on June 12, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    I don't think 1 Umesh Yadav would make too much of a difference. The one India will miss most in England will be Amit Mishra / Piyush Chawla with England's record against above average Leg Spin. Having said that, Dhoni;s best bet now is - 5 batsmen (Gambhir, Dhawan / Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Sharma) Dhoni Ashwin & Jadeja as spinners + Bhuvi, Shami + 1 of Pankaj / Ishant .......... Jadeja & Ashwin would occupy the 2 allrounder slots. Steward Binny is a bits & pieces bowler & batsman, I would not want to waste a slot on him.

  • vas on June 12, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    Those who criticise indian fast bowlers should try to to become fast bowlers themselves and show the world how it should be done. It is easy to criticise. BCCI can only nurture the talent the nature produces. Bhuvi, Shami, Arron, Ishant ,Praveen, Mohit, Yadav, et al are good bunch of fast bowlers. Appreciate and encourage them and they will do the job for Team India.

  • purush on June 12, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    Players should be picked on attitude, skill and domestic performance, while considering all these factors, I think they got it all right in the fast bowling department except that my personal preference would be Umesh Yadav over Varun for obvious reasons. We seem to have picked the best bowling combination we can gather based on performances in India. Bhuvaneshwar is very promising and delivers most of the time, he will hold the key. Shami is also quick, can swing and promising. Ishant has is the man who should hold things up tightly. If at least 2 of these fast bowlers have a good series, India will have more than a good chance to win the series. English fast bowlers are too good in their home conditions, I am looking forward to watch the mean Jimmy Anderson, he is simply too good, I consider him the best swing bowler in this generation.

  • WARRIOR on June 11, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    After following Indian cricket since 92, I have been disillusioned now. A country which has not yet won a single TEST match series in SA or Australia, still wants to play this format with no TEST quality bowlers. First develop some test quality bowlers who can win matches on their own from tough situations , then think about playing this format. Until then INDIA will always remain a journeyman in TEST cricket.

  • Ashok on June 10, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    @Facebook User: Your XI gives an option for just 4 bowlers when you put Jadeja/Ashwin. This was the exact policy of Dhoni playing a 5 day Test match with just 4 bowlers which lost India the SA & NZ Test series. You cannot take 20 Wkts. with just 4 bowlers- the exact question which Vengsarkar is raising. Dhoni as a Captain must have 4 Specialist bowlers + 1 All Rounder to have any chance of making a fight of this series. Secondly, You like the idea of Pujara as the Test captain. I like it too. Only reason I support Rohit Sharma for the Captaincy is that he is more out going than Pujara + has Captaincy experience of Mumbai. But you need to realise that as long as Srinivasan is the President, Dhoni will remain the Indian Captain in all 3 Formats. This is an open secret. You can see negative comments about Dhoni's Captaincy, especially overseas, from majority of the Indian Fans. 4 key players missing from this squad are: Yadev, Uthappa, Raina & Nair- would have won the series for India!

  • Siddharth on June 10, 2014, 2:52 GMT

    @Yedlachaitu: wow! you have picked a team for a Test match (and that too in England) without a specialist wicket keeper! Who in your XI is going to keep wicket in the Test?

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2014, 20:40 GMT

    This is my pick for the test playing 11... 1- Dhawan 2- Vijay/Gambhir 3- Pujara 4- Kholi 5- Rohit 6- Rahane 7- Dhoni (c/wk) 8- Ashwin/Jadeja 9- Kumar 10- Ishant/Aaron 11- Shami

    The weak link here is : vijay- his form has not been good, however we have seen him turn it around. Ishant- Underperformer or should we say his best is not good for an international team. Spin dept is bare, Ashwin struggles overseas and Jaddu is not a test match front line spinner (not in england).

    I would rather have Aaron instead of Ishant, might as well loose with a new person with raw pace than an old faliure.

    Why the heck is Umesh not included is a mistry, maybe somone will get injured and he will be seen in england.

    Hopes rest on Rahanae, Kholi and Pujara.

    I liked the idea of making Pujara Test captain, he is someone who is cool and has some experience.

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