Both India and England are coming into the four-match Test series on the back of clinical wins over Australia and Sri Lanka respectively in the red ball cricket. While India would go as the favorites in the Test series, Jofra Archer, one of England’s best pacers at present, has made a bold statement hinting that Indian spinners won’t be able to outspin them this time around, considering they too have quality spinners in their attack to even out the contest.
England last won a Test series in India back in 2012-13, where they sealed a 2-1 triumph. They toured again in 2016-17 but ended up losing the five-match series by 4-0.
The visitors found it tricky to tackle the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who collectively picked 54 wickets. Adil Rashid was the only bowler in the English lineup who troubled the hosts during that series as he ended up picking 23 wickets at an average of 37.43.
In Test cricket, batters can sit on you for a full session: Jofra Archer
Ahead of the four-match series, Archer wrote a column for the Daily Mail where he cited differences in the batsmen’s approach in the longest and shortest format. He added that England have plenty of good spinners on board and if the wickets offer a bit of turn, then it won’t be a one-sided duel.
“I have placed lots of Indian Premier League here but nothing in terms of first-class cricket, so the challenges of bowling with a red ball will become clear. In the IPL the batters have to come at you, whereas in Test cricket they can sit on you for a full session if they want and if the pitch is dead there is nothing you can do about it,” said Archer, who has picked 38 wickets including 3 five-wicket hauls in 11 Test appearances.
He added, “So let’s hope we get some good wickets with a little bit of pace for the bowlers. Or even some turn, because if they spin, the matches will not be one sided. We have good spinners in our squad and India won’t out-spin us.”
Although Archer has been competing in IPL since 2018, it’s his maiden tour while playing for England.
England would be banking on the spin trio of Moeen Ali, Jack Leach and Dominic Bess to capitalize on the wickets offered.
Bess and Leach looked in a great nick with the ball in the lately concluded two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, where they bagged 12 and 10 wickets respectively including a five-for each.
While Moeen hasn’t had great successes in the previous tours of India, it is about time the off-spinner the most of his red ball experience and starts churning some numbers, starting from the opening match in Chennai.
Archer then concluded by lauding the Indian cricket team for their recent heroics in the 4-match Test series against Australia Down Under where they beat the hosts by 2-1 in spite of missing out few players owing to injuries at different stages.
“Their 2-1 win showed that you cannot underestimate any of the leading teams in Test cricket, even when some of their best players are missing. In fact, the one thing that impressed me most about India was that everyone in their team chipped in. If it wasn’t the guy who performed well in the previous innings, it was someone else,” said Archer.