x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Laxman: India can be world beaters

India's complete bowling attack has given the team the potential to be world beaters according to the senior Test batsman Vangipurappu Laxman.

Ishant Sharma, the India opening bowler has been a major part of the team's success against Australia in the recent Test series.
Ishant Sharma, the India opening bowler has been a major part of the team's success against Australia in the recent Test series.

MUMBAI // The emergence of Ishant Sharma as a strike bowler and the resurgence of Zaheer Khan have given India's bowling the edge and made the team potential world beaters, the senior Test batsman Vangipurappu Laxman said. The wiry fast bowler Sharma took 15 wickets and his new ball partner Zaheer took 11 on docile home pitches this month to record batting-heavy India's first Test series victory over the top-ranked Australia in seven years.

"We'd never seen such kind of bowling on flat Indian pitches by Indian pacers. That was one of the reasons why the Australian batsmen were under tremendous pressure," said Laxman, 34, who became the eighth Indian to play in 100 Tests during the series. "The two contributed to half of the dismissals. That's been huge as we have always relied heavily on our spinners." The 2-0 victory in the four-match series saw India move to second place in the official Test rankings. Thirteen points separate them from Australia.

Ishant was adjudged player of the series but has missed the first two one-dayers against England with an ankle injury. India will also play two home Tests against the tourists next month. The seasoned Zaheer and the 20-year-old Ishant struck early blows and then troubled Australian batsmen by reverse-swinging the old ball, backing mainline spinners Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra and Anil Kumble, who tallied 32 between them.

"We've never bowled so well in tandem. The pressure was put by both the pacers and spin bowlers right through. This was the first time I saw, and the team saw, we put pressure even on the scoring rate of the opposition," Laxman added. India's aim is to topple the Australians who have dominated Test cricket for nearly two decades. The task is not an easy feat. "To become the number one Test side we'll have to win consistently," Laxman said. "We've done well in recent times but there were one or two series when we didn't play to our potential,"

"We definitely have got the talent and potential to become the number one. "All of us have taken the responsibility to perform consistently, that's why the team's been doing so well. The confidence from beating Australia and the manner in which we played our cricket, I am sure we can end on a positive note against England as well." *Reuters