For the upcoming 5 Test match series of India versus England, former English captain Allan Lamb has picked India as his favorite. In an interview with the Times of India, he said, “India will start as the favourites going into the series. I expect the conditions to be in their favour as the series unfolds,” predicted Lamb. “I would go with a 3-1 scoreline in favour of India.”
Even when India has won only one Test series against England in the past 32 years and lost recent ones with 1-3 in 2014 and 0-4 in 2011, Lamb says the wickets will favor Indian spinners. He explains, “It has not rained here much in the last few weeks. This will result in wickets being on the drier side and that should bring the Indian spinners into play.”
Allan Lamb himself has proved to be instrumental against West Indian pacer attacks during his cricket days. Even though Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ruled out from first 3 Test, there are other pacers to take command of Indian bowling.
“Ishant [Sharma] is coming after having had a good county stint. On the other hand, Jasprit Bumrah [who will miss the first Test], Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are capable of bowling with pace and conditions will help them get some swing as well, he added.”
For England, Lamb is excited about the new-ball duo.
“It will be interesting to see how the English quicks — James Anderson and Stuart Broad — shape up considering they are returning from injuries.”
In a recommendation to team India, he advises to pick Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin: “I am impressed with Kuldeep. Yes, Joe Root and a few others did read him in the one-dayers, but I would want to still see him in action in the Tests. He and Ashwin will be a good combination to go with.”
He also had some words for English batsmen on how to tackle spinners, “You can’t just walk in thinking of only employing a particular shot such as the sweep. The trick is to use your feet as much as possible.”
County cricket experience of Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ravichandran Ashwin should come handy according to Lamb.
“It’s a big plus. As a bowler you would know the lengths to bowl to, and as a batsman you learn to make those minute adjustments on English pitches.”