England are coming off a 2-0 triumph against Sri Lanka but facing India in India will be a completely different kettle of fish for the visitors given the home side’s current form and their impregnable home record in the past 8 years.
Since losing to England 2-1 in the winter of 2012, India have won 28 of the 34 Tests that they played on home soil. While five have ended in a draw, the elusive defeat came against Australia in Pune in 2017.
Speaking on Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’, Gautam Gambhir singled out the lack of a quality spinner within England’s ranks as one of the major reasons why the visitors will struggle in the upcoming Test series.
England have the likes of Moeen Ali, Dom Bess, and Jack Leach as three specialist spinners in their squad. Moeen Ali struggled during his last visit to India in 2016- 10 wickets in 10 innings at 64.9- and while the duo of Bess and Leach claimed wickets in Sri Lanka, they were highly inconsistent and a majority of those scalps were also aided by poor shot selection by the Sri Lankan batsmen.
“I don’t see England winning any of the Test matches with the kind of spin attack they’ve got,” Gautam Gambhir was quoted as saying in Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’.
According to Gambhir, the only chance that England have of winning a Test match is in the pink-ball affair at the Motera.
“It has to be 3-0 India or probably 3-1. I’m only going to give a Pink Ball Test match, probably 50-50 to England just from the conditions point of view.” He said
This is going to be a completely different challenge for Joe Root: Gautam Gambhir
Joe Root is coming off a brilliant Test series in Sri Lanka where he scored back-to-back daddy hundreds.
Root will once again be the key to England’s fortunes but Gautam Gambhir feels that the English skipper will face a completely different challenge against the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah as compared to what he encountered in Sri Lanka.
“This is going to be a completely different challenge for someone like Joe Root,” Gambhir said. “Yes, he has played really well in Sri Lanka, but when you face people like Jasprit Bumrah on any wicket, or for that matter, R Ashwin, when his confidence is sky-high after what he has done in Australia, I am sure it is going to be a completely different beast and a completely different ball game,” he added.
The first Test between India and England will take place at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from February 05.