Former India cricketer, Dilip Vengsarkar has backed young spinner Kuldeep Yadav and rookie wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant to start in the first Test against England at Edgbaston on August 1.
Meanwhile, India will play a five-match Test series against the English side. The top-ranked Test side will be desperate to reverse their statistics in England. The last time they tasted success in England was way back in 2007 under Rahul Dravid.
In a bid to do that, Vengsarkar has backed Kuldeep and Rishabh to feature in the first XI. While Kuldeep did a terrific job in the limited-overs series, Pant is knocking the door of the national team for quite some time now.
“I’ll pick Kuldeep Yadav over anybody else. I think that the English batsmen aren’t very comfortable against a wrist spinner. They’re wary of him, and the Indian team should make sure of that advantage,” Vengsarkar wrote in TOI. “I’ll go with Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper because he’s an unknown quantity. He can play a crucial hand,” he added.
Dilip Vengsarkar also hoped Umesh Yadav to deliver in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He believes Umesh can be dangerous if he bowls to his potential. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will miss the first three Tests due to injury.
“I think that our fast bowling attack is a bit ill-equipped. A lot would depend on how Umesh Yadav raises his game. Umesh has got pace and swing, which makes him dangerous in English conditions. I expect him to do well if he bowls upto his potential. On the other hand, a batsman can adjust against a bowler like Bhuvneshwar, who largely depends on swing,” he added.
Virat Kohli will flourish
Indian skipper Virat Kohli will be keen will correct his Test batting record in England. Vengsarkar feels Kohli will do a lot better this time around, however, a lot of pressure will be on his shoulders. But Dilip Vengsarkar believes if Kohli gets into the groove, he will flourish.
“I definitely expect Virat Kohli to do better this time in England. What happened the last time was four years ago. Since that time, Virat has progressed to be amongst the top batsmen in world cricket. He’s batting absolutely beautifully,” wrote Vengsarkar.
“Of course, we expect a lot from him and the others as well. I’m sure that he will be keen to do well in England this time. I’m sure he’ll be under pressure at the start because of what happened the last time. However, I’m sure that once he gets into his groove, he’ll flourish,” he concluded.