Former England quick bowler Phil DeFreitas was a regular member of the team from the late 80s to 90s. Despite retiring from the game 22 years ago, DeFreitas keeps a check on the game and recently shared his views on the upcoming England- India Test series.
Currently coaching in Leicestershire, DeFreitas was interviewed by the Times of India; here are the excerpts from the interview.
He gave his views on conditions in England saying, “It's very hot here in England and wickets are very dry. I think it will suit India and they will feel at home. Normally, when India come over to England they get a bit of chill and rains. They are used to these conditions and it would be like playing in India.”
He also talked about James Anderson and Stuart Broad and said, “Jimmy is coming back from injury and he has played a few games. Hopefully, he is fit. He hasn't played a great deal of cricket but he has been rested very well. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Anderson will play all five Tests and so is Broad. He hasn't played any Twenty20 or ODI. England would be hoping they remain fit and available for majority of Test matches because both are quality bowlers and they know how to utilize the conditions here.”
Even on the recent controversial selection of Adil Rashid in the England team, DeFreitas said, “Rashid is one of our better bowlers we have got. It was his decision not to play any red ball cricket. They selected him on the basis of his One-day and Twenty20 performance. I am slightly disappointed and shocked because it doesn't send a good message to the guys who are playing county cricket. The reason why they have selected him because he has done well in One-day cricket and I am just hoping he brings his One-day form to Test arena.”
DeFreitas termed the Indian spin attack far better than England’s.
About the Indian pace bowlers, DeFreitas said, “India have a lot more to choose from, especially pace bowlers. Indian pace bowlers have really impressed me. They have got the variety. They can travel anywhere in the world and can compete with any side. They are all good seamers and that's why they are playing Test cricket. You can't pick just one bowler because ultimately it's important how they bowl as a group. To pick one would be unfair.”
On a parting note, DeFreitas gave his views on Indian captain Virat Kohli.
He said, “Virat Kohli didn't have great series last time but since then he has scored runs all around the world. He is such a world class player. He would know himself that he needs to score here. He must have worked very hard on his technique combating the swinging ball. I personally expect him to score runs in these conditions. They (all Indian batsmen) are all fantastic players. They have got a very settled batting line. They did well in Twenty20 and One-dayers. I don't want single out anyone. All of them are capable of scoring big hundreds.”