Former English pacer Stephen Harmison, who has played three Test matches in India, knows the conditions well, and believes spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar will dismiss most of the Indian batsmen during the upcoming four-match Test series, getting started with the opening game at Ahmedbad on Thursday.
Despite declaring Swann and Panesar the ones England will heavily rely on, Harmison did not overlook the role of the pacers. He uttered the English pacemen are also going to contribute well. He told Sky Sports:
“It’s very difficult. I’m sure England are banking on Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar doing the bulk of the wicket-taking. They (the England seamers) all bowl well with the reverse swinging ball and I think that’s going to be the key for England whether it’s (Steven) Finn, (Tim) Bresnan, (James) Anderson, (Stuart) Broad and (Graham) Onions.”
“They all need to bowl well with the reverse swinging ball but I imagine the spinners are the ones that take the bulk of the wickets. If you want to be the best bowler that you can possibly be you’ve got to go out and perform in these countries.”
Harmison played his last international game nearly three years ago. During his stint, he guided England to many crucial victories, picking up 266 wickets in 63 Test matches. Further talking on the England-India clash, he described the tourists need to stop Indian top-order from scoring boundaries.
All Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli like to play strokes, and Harmison feels that preventing them from scoring quick runs will eventually put them in frustration.
“I’m sure they’ll have a gameplan to stop boundaries and cut off the big shots that the Indians do like to play and build pressure that way. England’s gameplan first and foremost will be to stop them from scoring,” he said.
“England won 4-0 in England when they bombarded the Indians with short balls, they probably won’t be able to do that again as the ball doesn’t tend to bounce above shin height. It will be tough but I’m sure they’ll do a good job.”