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England batting coach warns players ahead of Test with India

'The key for our bowling attack will be to bowl our ‘best ball’ as often as we can,' Thorpe said on Friday
India captain Virat Kohli
India captain Virat Kohli
File picture

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 30.01.21, 02:25 AM

England batting coach Graham Thorpe has sounded a warning to his players ahead of the four-match Test series against India, which begins in Chennai on February 5.

“The key for our bowling attack will be to bowl our ‘best ball’ as often as we can. I don’t think we can ask for anything more from our spinners and seamers. We need to have runs on the board and then having the Indian batting order under pressure will really be the key for us. To take the game deep will be an important aspect for England,” Thorpe said on Friday.

Thorpe recognises the challenge they will face on this tour.

“There is a hell lot of hard cricket ahead of us. I don’t think I am under any illusions about that. But as a cricketer, when you get to the highest level, you want to test yourself in many ways in a very different sort of environment as well. But it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.

“India at home is a real challenge. They’re playing very good cricket and have been very strong at home. They are coming back off a win in Australia as well, so for us, it presents a real challenge. Let’s say that’s sort of where you want to be as a player,” he remarked.

With Virat Kohli back in the fold after missing three Tests in Australia, the visitors are aware of the tough task at hand.

“We know that he is a fantastic player and he has shown that for many years now. Virat is in one of that batting orders which understands home conditions very well.”

The Indian bowling is no longer about spinners weaving their magic on rank turners and Thorpe said that they are well aware about the challenge posed by Jasprit Bumrah and Co.

“The one thing about the Indian bowling attack is it’s not just about spin. Their seam attack is also strong and so from that point of view it’s not to just get side-tracked completely into the spin side of things as well.

“Indian bowling has developed into a very good attack and we are aware of that. The training time (three days) will be used to strike a fine balance practising both.”

Thorpe is aware that the tour will be a big learning curve for the youngsters in the side.

“Some of our players haven’t played in the subcontinent, so in terms of development might be behind others but they are working hard and hopefully can put on a good show. It’ll be a bit of a learning curve for some of them as well.”

Thorpe wants his players to react according to a particular situation.

“We may have some players who are slightly more aggressive and some players would be comfortable to bat all day if they can. We want our players to recognise situations and trust their defence.”

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