Former Australian great Glenn McGrath has said Indian batting line up will have to be at the top of their game to counter the threat that James Anderson possesses. McGrath believes and reiterated that how the likes of Virat Kohli & co bat against the swing and seam expertise of Anderson will be the deciding factor in this series.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai, McGrath was quoted saying, “Anderson is going to be a big player. It is how the Indian batsmen face his swing and bowling in English conditions. If they can get on top of Anderson, that is going to make a big difference for them. I think for them he is definitely going to be the key,”
McGrath, who is currently the director of coaching at MRF Pace Foundation, thinks that even though India's bowling has made vast improvements in recent times, batting will still be their strength.
He said, “It is going to be interesting. I think India started really well in England, obviously it is in the ODIs and T20s. The batting line-up has always been their strength. Just heard about injuries to (Jasprit) Bumrah and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar). So it will be interesting to see their bowling line-up, to see who comes in and takes the load. In recent times they have been bowling really well. Injuries do happen, it is going to make it a little tougher. But their strength is their batting,”
“Spinners have done well for India. Shane Warne loved bowling there. He always said if it seamed, it will turn. In English conditions, it does seam a bit and Warne has had success there. India is going to need their bowlers, their spinners firing if they have to win the series.”
McGrath said not having Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah weakens India’s bowling attack. “Having two spinners in the line-up, if that is going to be the best bowling attack it is fine. I am interested to see who are bowlers that they have. (Umesh) Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, who’s your backup quicks going in. With Bhuvi and Bumrah out, it creates a bit of a hole. The first Test is going to be pretty important.”
He concluded by talking about how crucial Virat Kohli scoring big will be from India's point of view, he said, “For Virat, he has done everywhere else, but in England… He is a quality player without a doubt, a class act, has got all the shots. He is quite aggressive and not a timid player. It is time he shows that he can score runs in English conditions too."
“It is a little bit tougher with the ball moving around. Australia used to be quick, bouncy whereas in England it is seam movement. If he can adapt and adjust to the conditions, he can score. When he is playing well he is as good as anyone going around.”
(Inputs from PTI)