Former New Zealand pace bowler Simon Doull said that England will struggle to achieve sustained success with their aggressive approach in the five-match Test series in India. The much-awaited Test series begins in Hyderabad on January 25. Meanwhile, Team India have not been beaten in a home Test series since England’s 2-1 victory in 2012-13 as well. On the other hand, England have been doing well under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes as coach and captain, respectively.
In an interview with Hindustan Times ahead of the India-England series, Doull said, “I don’t like the term. But the way they play, I enjoy. They will not change the way they play, and neither should they. It has been attractive; it has been a resurgence of Test cricket. I don’t think they will stop the way they play. Will it work? It might in a Test or two. I don’t think it will work over a five-Test series. It’s not good enough to beat an Indian side. I think we are in for a cracking Test series, and it will be entertaining no matter how it goes, but I don’t think they will be able to sustain it over a five-Test series.”
Meanwhile, India are coming off a 1-1 drawn series in South Africa, whereas England last played Tests in the Ashes series at home that ended in July last year. Notably, England have lost seven of the last nine Tests in India, including their previous two tours.
“I don’t think it is fair at all (criticism of Indian pitches). In New Zealand, there is 15-18mm of grass on every Test pitch. It would seam around for a day and a half; that is how New Zealand win at home. I’ve got no issue with how India want to play at home, as long as the pitches are up to the standards. I don’t care if it turns from Day 1 as long as the pitch is not underprepared, rough, or looks ordinary on the opening day,” said Doull.
“The only thing I would say is how do these modern Indian batters, The Shubman Gills and the (Yashasvi) Jaiswals, get Test match double hundreds? You look at the careers of the previous Indian batters and the careers of these new Indian players, and you’d feel, ‘We don’t expect them to average 55, 54, 53, like the Tendulkars, the Dravids, the Sehwags, and the Laxmans’. That’s because they are playing on surfaces that are more spin-friendly on Day 1,” added Simon Doull.