x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

My spin on this: It's India's place to set pace

The announcement of the lack of spin bowlers in the India A side for England's first game in preparation of the cricket tour has caused some to throw their toys out of the pram, explains Dileep Premachandran.

India captain MS Dhoni and their cricket board are well aware of England's issues with spin bowling. Funny the India A side practice team selected to help England warm up for their tour of India features all pace bowlers.
India captain MS Dhoni and their cricket board are well aware of England's issues with spin bowling. Funny the India A side practice team selected to help England warm up for their tour of India features all pace bowlers.

 

In 2003/04, when India toured Australia for what would be Steve Waugh's final series, they played their second and final warm-up game at Allan Border Field in Brisbane against a Queensland Academy of Sport side.

No one in that team had played (or would play) a Test match.

Joe Dawes, now India's bowling coach, was the most successful bowler as the home side had the better of the game, but few thought it adequate preparation for taking on Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Andy Bichel at the Gabba, a venue fraught with peril for touring teams.

India did not complain about the quality of the opposition.

They got on with it, drew a rain-ruined Gabba Test and were the better side in a 1-1 drawn series.

When it comes to bilateral tours, the home board decides which tour games to arrange. England have three before the first Test at Ahmedabad starts on November 15, but the announcement of the India A side for the first game has caused some to throw their toys out of the pram.

"India to play no spinners against England in the A team warm-up game … if that's what the game has come to???? Pathetic tactics," tweeted Michael Vaughan.

India have a settled spin attack in Test cricket, but plenty of questions about a pace line-up. By playing four pace bowlers against England the new selection panel hopes to unearth some likely successors.

England's difficulties against spin are well documented. Surely, Vaughan did not expect India's selection panel to aid their cause while ignoring their own problems?

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