ENG v IND 2018: Darren Gough talks about the Indian pace attack, Adil Rashid and Virat Kohli

Gough said, "India's top-order looks a bit weak to me because Pujara hasn't got any big runs recently."

Darren Gough called these 12-months highly important for the legacy of Virat Kohli

Former England fast bowler Darren Gough feels that the Indian quick bowling attack has the firepower to cover for the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

"Bhuvneshwar is a big loss and he wasn't at his best during the ODI series because he was carrying an injury. But India aren't a side anymore that is dependent on one bowler. Earlier, they were dependent on Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath or Zaheer Khan, that is no longer the case. India are suited for all sorts of wickets, and they look prepared and geared up for this Test series," Gough told PTI.

Gough added, "Today, you have to be on top of your game to beat India, whether you are playing at home or away because they posses everything in their bowling attack. Kumar gives you swing, Bumrah is a skidding seam bowler, Umesh Yadav can move the new ball as well and he has got pace, Mohammed Shami is strong and hits the deck hard, while Ishant Sharma has experience, aggression and he can bowl lots of overs."

Gough also felt that Kuldeep’s addition to the team is a big plus for India.

"On top of that you have three spinners. R Ashwin is nearly unplayable in Indian conditions, Ravindra Jadeja keeps taking wickets and Kuldeep Yadav has already proven himself in England. Selection is not going to be easy and good luck to Indian team management, especially in the spin department, as someone will be upset when he is left out in Birmingham," he said.

Gough also shared his views on the controversial inclusion of Adil Rashid in the England team.

He said, "He shouldn't have been picked in the Test squad because he decided to walk away from day cricket. I was disappointed that he left Yorkshire in the lurch a little bit at the start of this domestic season. I believe if he had worked a little harder with red ball, he would have got his change in the Test side and become a regular. There's no doubt that he is England's best spinner by an absolute mile. But he was disappointed with the way it was going for him (in First-Class cricket).”

"Good wrist spinners reach a peak as they grow older and I think Rashid is in that league, and he can be a Test regular now. And you can see why he has been picked, against popular opinion. England could have gone in with Dom Bess and Jack Leach. I don't think they can bowl out India. Moeen Ali was handy in 2014 and he is back. With Rashid, they should cause some problems. Rashid's issue is that he doesn't knock top-order batsmen out. Will he turn the series? Probably not, but is he better than what we have already go? Absolutely yes," he added.

Gough also asked Indian to focus on their top three and said, “If you can afford to leave Rohit Sharma out of your side, you know India are in a good position. They have a great middle order batsman in Ajinkya Rahane, and he played so well at Lord's in 2014. I like how KL Rahul looks as well, but India's top-order looks a bit weak to me because Pujara hasn't got any big runs recently. If they play Shikhar Dhawan, then India should leave out Pujara and play Rahul at number three.

"India bat deep and let's not forget that this is a big series for Kohli personally. He is a great ODI batsman, and I am gobsmacked to see how he bats in white-ball cricket. But India haven't won a Test series here since 2007 and Rahul Dravid as captain got runs back then. If Kohli wants to be counted in the same league as Tendulkar and Lara, he has to get runs in England. Then, he has to go and get runs in Australia, and come back here to score runs in the World Cup. This is a big 12 months for Kohli and his legacy will be decided in the next year," Gough added.

(With inputs from news18.com/PTI)


By Jatin Sharma - 29 Jul, 2018

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