England’s superior bowling will win them series: Boycott

July 27th, 2011 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Geoffrey Boycott feels India and England are at par in the batting department but says the hosts’ superior bowling attack will take them to the series win and to the World No.1 spot.

India put up a lacklustre show in the first Test at Lord’s, losing to the hosts by 196 runs.

Boycott, a former England captain, in his column for the Daily Telegraph wrote that India are certain to improve in the series but in the possible absence of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan do not look equipped to take 20 wickets.

“There is not much to choose between both sides’ batting. There is strength in depth in both teams and we expect India to improve, but their bowling is not good enough to worry England,” wrote Boycott.

“Zaheer Khan is a quality bowler but even before the series started I never expected him to survive bowling in four Test matches in five weeks. His ability has never been in doubt but his fitness has always been a worry.”

“It looks as if they can’t risk him again now until the third Test at Edgbaston. If they do and he breaks down again, they will look stupid.”

In Zaheer’s absence, Boycott reckons Ishant is India’s “best prospect” but the others are unlikely to trouble the England batsmen.

“Harbhajan Singh may have 400 Test match wickets but all the batsmen played him with ease. I think he is too slow through the air. So he is going to have to change his trajectory to make any impression.”

“Praveen Kumar swings the ball beautifully both ways, but unless it is a very helpful pitch he should not bother good batsmen at military medium pace,” Boycott wrote.

“Ishant Sharma is their best prospect. Tall with bounce and movement, he is going to have spells when he causes all the England batsmen problems. The back-up seamers are Munaf Patel, who is again military medium swing bowler, and Sreesanth who is ruled by the moon.”

“The next three Test match pitches will have to be very helpful to seam bowling or England will have to bat very badly to get out cheaply to this (Indian) attack.”

Besides praising the pace trio of James Anderson, Christ Tremlett and Chris Broad, Boycott finds England’s bowling reserve a lot more potent than India’s.

“The great thing for England is they have two good back-up seamers queuing up to take their place. Tim Bresnan has done wonders when he has played. He has surprised me and probably deserved to play at Lord’s. And then there is Graham Onions who is back bowling for Durham and was a raving success against Australia in England. India do not have back-up seamers like that and that is where England’s advantage lies,” he summed up.

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