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Legendary Australia pace bowler Glenn McGrath has admitted that England seamer James Anderson could cause India captain Virat Kohli some problems during the upcoming five-Test series.
Kohli is currently recovering from a neck injury, but will be determined to shine in England, especially as he failed to impress when he was last there in 2014 as he was restricted to 134 runs at an average of 13.40.
However, even though McGrath acknowledged that Kohli is a superb player, he believes the Indian skipper will be pushed to his limits by Anderson.
“Kohli is a more experienced player now. Quality player, no doubt about that,” McGrath was quoted as saying by the Asian Age. “But English conditions are very tough. When you have got a bowler like Jimmy Anderson, who is bowling well now, it is going to be hard work. You got to be prepared to work hard. Kohli is a quality player so I am looking forward to that contest.”
McGrath added it will would be foolish on India’s part to solely depend on Kohli to score runs during the Test series, which begins on August 1 at Edgbaston.
“You always want your best batsman performing. However, it also gives another batsmen a chance to put his hand up and there are still some quality batsmen there, some quality players there. If India are really depending on one player, they have got it wrong,” he said.
India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has been Yorkshire on the county circuit, but while has failed to have an impact in the County Championship matches, McGrath feels the experience of playing in English conditions will come in handy.
“I have not seen what the conditions are like in the UK,” he said. “Pujara, even though he hasn’t got runs, he will be there. Just being used to the conditions, I think that will help him.”
In regards to India’s bowlers, McGrath feels that seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah could excel against England’s batsmen.
“Bhuvi and Bumrah. They have got pretty good control. That’s what you need, especially in England,” he said. “The Dukes ball has a pronounced seam. If you get the ball in the right areas consistently, then you are going to do well. The ball will do a little bit, so yeah.. they will do well.”
McGrath also admitted it is crucial that India adapt to the conditions in England as quickly as possible.
“I think a lot of it depends on how the players adapt. You got to adapt a lot quicker these days,” he added. “During my time, we used to get a couple of tour matches. They will have to adjust and adapt quicker. Obviously, there aren’t enough tour matches to really get used to the conditions. They will just have to rely on past experience.”