India have not won a Test series in England since a Rahul Dravid-led side won 1-0 in the Old Blighty but the former India captain believes Virat Kohli’s men have a very good chance to beat England in England again. India take on England in a 5-Test series in August-September, a month after they face New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in Southampton.
India will have more than a month’s time to prepare for the 5-Test series after the World Test Championship final, which gets underway on June 18. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 20-member squad earlier this week and the Indian contingent is expected to head to the UK in the first week of June after a period of mandatory quarantine in India.
Rahul Dravid said not many teams have had a month’s time to prepare for a Test series in England and Virat Kohli’s men will certainly benefit from the time they spend to get used to the conditions in the UK. The batting great pointed out that the tourists will carry the confidence from their previous series win — an emphatic 2-1 win in Australia earlier this year.
“… I just think India will be well-prepared, have the confidence from Australia, there’s lot of belief in the squad. A couple of players have been to England a few times, there’s a lot of experience in the batting order this time around, so this is probably our best chance, maybe say 3-2 to India,” Dravid said in a webinar organised by Live Aid India, a trust to help those affected by Covid-19, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“I think India will play really well in England this time,” Dravid said. “It’s a great opportunity we’ve got. After the WTC final, they’re going to be in England for a whole month before the Test series starts. I don’t think any team has had that kind of time to prepare for a Test series as India will have this time, so that surely should be a great advantage” he said.
Dravid also pointed out that India have the firepower to exploit the weaknesses in England’s beating unit while adding that England’s bowling unit is on par with the tourists attack. The former skipper pointed out that there are quite a few subplots to keep an eye on in what promises to be a cracker of a Test series.
“There’s no question about their bowling. Whatever bowling attack England put on the park, especially their seam-bowling attack, is going to be fantastic. They have a lot of players to pick and choose from and that’s going to be terrific,” Dravid added.
Runs of the board key to be competitive, feels Dravid
“But if you look at their top six or top seven, you really think of one great batsman, a world-class batsman who is Joe Root. Obviously, Ben Stokes is another one, who is a good all-rounder, but for some reason [R] Ashwin seems to do well against him.
“And that should be an interesting contest. I know he’s done well against him [Stokes] in India, but it’ll still be an interesting subplot to the series,” he added.
India have often found it difficult to post big totals on the board in English conditions in the recent past and Dravid believes runs on the board can only make the tourists competitive in the Old Blighty.
“In England, if there’s one thing you’ve always got to respect, it’s the conditions. It’s slightly different from say an Australia or India… Things can change very quickly, so the one piece of advice is when you’re set, value your wicket, play one ball at a time and look to take the game deep. If we put runs on the board, we’ll be competitive,” he added.