South African pacer Dale Steyn has shared his viewpoint on India's one of the most awaited Test series against England. The hype before the series has made it more interesting.
India is preparing to take the revenge of their previous losses and give the fans at home a moment to cherish for lifetime.
The team will be playing Test series in England under Virat Kohli for the first time. Though Steyn thinks England are favorites to win the series, he said India's good show in South Africa under Kohli had impressed him.
“They got better in the series. That’s why they won the last Test match in Johannesburg. In the one-day games they were a real force to reckon with," he said.
Adding that India is an excellent team, he picked England as favorites, Steyn, the 88 Tests veteran said, "India has a good side; it’s going to be an interesting series. I won’t make any predictions. But I think the advantage probably lies with England. India is becoming a very good touring team. But if I have to put my money, it’s going to be on England; it’s going to be tight though. The beautiful thing about India is, they got such a big pool of players to call upon. If somebody gets injured, the replacements are generally pretty good. They have Dinesh Karthik up there now.”
The dry pitches may help India and the South African thinks that would make the series even. “I think it’s massively dry there and a lot of runs are going to be scored. Home series generally go with the home team. If the ball swings they (Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad) are going to play a massive role, but if it doesn’t, then how are they going to get someone like Kohli, Shikhar (Dhawan) and K.L. Rahul out!
“They treated themselves in South Africa which I consider is the hardest place to play cricket. They came to South Africa and just got better. It could be true in England too. I think it’s going to be a high-scoring series, but England’s bowlers are probably just a little bit better than the Indians and that will be the difference.”
The 35-year-old went on to laud the Indian skipper Kohli, "Under Virat, this Indian team is capable of anything. I know Virat pretty well; he is a very determined character. It’s going to be a hard-fought five Test matches.’’
Apart from India's Test series, he also opened up about how to make cricket a competitive game and give bowlers equal chance.
When asked about whether the toss should be done away with across all formats of the game, Steyn said: "Yes, why not? I was thinking more (about) Test matches. I think the wickets generally in ODI cricket have been a bit too flat. You’re taking the bowlers completely out of the equation.’’
He also wants limited cricket to be played with only one ball instead of two new balls from both sides. That will give bowlers a chance to show their art of reverse swing. "The two-ball rule is just ridiculous in my opinion; the ball’s only 25 overs old, not 50. You’re also taking the skill out of the game. I grew up watching Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis reverse swing the ball; and you try to name me one player in the World today who can reverse swing the ball; it’s just not allowed.
"Players are now going to the extent of taking sandpaper on the field. It might sound funny, but this is a desperate plea for cricket to change. Players are going to get into more trouble trying to make the ball do something, if you don’t do something about the game.’’
(With Sportstarlive.com input)