Skipper's blog

Will England get in a spin against India?

When England collapsed form 100-0 to 164 all out, they lost a Test to Bangladesh for the first time. On a turning pitch, with variable bounce, England struggled to put an innings together. Not that Bangladesh found it easy either, Neither side scored more than 300 in an innings and from 8 innings, Tamim's 104 was the highest score. Yet England's best bowler was Stokes, using his ODI skills to keep a tight line that not only bought him 11 wickets but bowled with such an excellent economy rate that he helped Spinners like Ali and Rashid attack the batsmen.

One of the features of this series was the amount of DRS reviews that led to decisions being overturned, with umpire Dharmasena making more bad decisions than a hedgehog on a first date with a toilet brush. India have finally agreed to trial DRS in the upcoming 5 Test series. Whether this about face is due to increased confidence in the new, improved technology or they think it will help their spinners bowl England out is open to question.

So what of England's chances? A lot will depend on our top 4. England bat a long way down and from 5 onwards probably have the strongest batting line up in the world. However England have 2 top class batsmen in Cook and Root and 2 vacancies. Those 2 places will be filled by 2 from Duckett, Hameed, Ballance and Hales. I see Hales coming back to open and Duckett dropped down the order to 3 or 4. Runs from these 2 and Cook and Root finding their form would see England hard to beat, but repeats of the 3 bad starts from 4 innings in Bangladesh will surely result in a home win.



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