Gavaskar believes England’s 27-year losing streak in India could be broken in the upcoming series
India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has announced that he is concerned about the national team’s “vulnerable” lineup ahead of their four-Test series against England.
Gavaskar noted that India had a “wobbly” batting lineup and a less than impressive pace attack, but added that their spin department provided a ray of hope.
Writing in his column for the Mid-day newspaper, Gavaskar said: “Amazingly the situation is eerily similar to the tours of England and Australia last year, both England and Australia were vulnerable and there for the taking, but India messed it up and after the first Test of both the series just did not look as if they would win a day leave alone five days of a Test match. India today are in the same vulnerable position that England and particularly Australia were in 2011.”
India will be looking for revenge against England, who became the new world number one Test team after whitewashing them 4-0 in 2011.
To make things worse, India suffered yet another 4-0 whitewashing in their next series against Australia, which ended in early January this year.
Gavaskar noted that the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, along with Sachin Tendulkar’s poor form, has left a huge hole in the middle order of the Indian batting lineup.
“With the openers too not quite in form, the batting is looking wobbly, the settled air (in the Indian ranks) that was there at the beginning of 2011 is not there and that is why this is a great chance for England,” Gavaskar added.
Writing about India’s bowling attack, Gavaskar dwelled on the fact that veteran pace bowler Zaheer Khan lacked support from the rest of the Indian fast bowlers, and stated that it left the national team’s spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha to shoulder the burden of dismissing England’s batsmen in each innings.
“Ashwin is a quick learner and Ojha is very consistent, on pitches where there is some turn they could prove tricky customers,” Gavaskar said.
The batting legend further mentioned that Kevin Pietersen’s return into the England squad would bolster up their middle order, while also highlighting the fact that newly appointed Test captain and opening batsman Alastair Cook would have to lead by example throughout the series.
“Cook will be the steadying factor. He has a good record in India and if he can bat like he did in his debut series in 2006, the final frontier could just be a small hurdle for England,” Gavaskar added.