As Virat Kohli and his team India get ready for their tour of Ireland and England, the focus has been on a resurgent Indian pace unit which performed admirably in South Africa at the start of the year.
However, Indian spin legend and former coach Anil Kumble believes the team’s slower bowlers can make an impact in England.
“We have the best spinners in the world and even in terms of conditions the fact that we are playing in the second-half will help our cause. We have a great opportunity to win the series. We shouldn’t have a problem operating with Duke ball,” Kumble was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
With wrist-spinners being the latest craze in international cricket, Kumble feels that they could be a handy option in the second-half of the summer in England.
“Wrist spinners will certainly be a handful and they will certainly play an important part in England since this time we are touring in the second half. The wicket will have wear and tear and the wrist spinners will come into the game much earlier than the first half of the summer,” the former India leg-spinner stated.
The 47-year-old believes India have a great chance of toppling England this time due to the amount of experience in the side.
“We have a great side and an all-round side. In bowling we have the experience and bowlers who can take 20 wickets consistently. If you look at the batting line-up, it has a lot of experience as well,” Kumble said.
“On average, all the players have played close to 50 Tests. That adds a lot of value and it’s not the first time that they are touring England. They have all been there before and they are familiar with the conditions,” he added.
The Indian team departs for Dublin from New Delhi on Saturday where they will play two T20Is against Ireland before moving on to the England leg of the tour. There, Kohli’s men will first play three T20s and as many ODIs before playing a five-match Test series against the hosts.
India skipper Virat Kohli, England pacer Stuart Broad and New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenaghan have all joined the chorus against the two new balls rule in ODI cricket following Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis’ criticisms.
Earlier on Friday, Tendulkar had suggested the two-ball rule was stopping bowlers from generating reverse swing.
“Having two new balls in one day is a perfect recipe for disaster as each ball is not given the time to get old enough to reverse. We haven’t seen reverse swing, an integral part of the death overs, for a long time,” Tendulkar had written in a Twitter post.
His comments received support from Pakistan pace legend Waqar Younis shortly after who agreed that reverse swing was a dying art in the current limited-overs game.
Reason why we don’t produce many attacking fast bowlers..They all very defensive in their approach...always looking for change ups..totally agree with you @sachin_rt reverse swing is almost vanished.. #SAD https://t.co/hPHoMXujcr— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) June 21, 2018
Kohli gave his views on the issue during the pre-tour press conference in New Delhi ahead of India’s departure for Ireland and England.
“I think it’s brutal for the bowlers. I have played ODI cricket when there was only one new ball allowed and reverse swing used to be a massive factor in the latter half of the innings, which I think as a batsman was more challenging,” Kohli said.
Soon, Broad and McClenaghan too took to Twitter to have their say on the rule. “I find reverse swing really exciting to watch, I’d like to see it back in the white ball game,” Broad wrote in his post.
I find reverse swing really exciting to watch, I’d like to see it back in the white ball game— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) June 22, 2018
New Zealand and Mumbai Indians pacer McClenaghan agreed with Tendulkar’s post, tweeting: “Could it be said any better? – don’t think so,” the Kiwi stated.
Could it be said any better? - don’t think so! 👏👏👏— Mitchell McClenaghan (@Mitch_Savage) June 22, 2018
The two new balls rule came into effect in ODI cricket in 2011 with each ball getting used for 25 overs.
Sri Lanka‘s captain, coach and team manager have admitted breaching the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct after the team refused to take to the field against West Indies last weekend.
The third day of the second Test in St Lucia last Saturday was held up by two hours after the tourists failed to come out, in protest at the umpires’ decision to impose a five-run penalty and replace the match ball.
That decision was reached after the officials ruled that the condition of the original ball had been altered by Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal.
He was handed a one-match ban in regard to that incident, and his appeal against the sanction will be heard on Friday.
An ICC statement released on Friday morning read: “Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, coach Chandika Hathurusingha and manager Asanka Gurusinha have admitted to breaching Article 2.3.1, a Level 3 offence, which relates to ‘conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game’.
“Following their admission, the ICC, in accordance with Article 5.2 of the ICC code of conduct, has appointed the Hon Michael Beloff QC as the judicial commissioner to hear the case to determine the appropriate sanction.
“Mr Beloff has also been appointed as the judicial commissioner to hear Mr Chandimal’s appeal against the match referee’s decision for changing the condition of the ball.
“The three were charged by the ICC chief executive David Richardson on Tuesday for their involvement in the Sri Lanka cricket team’s refusal to take to the field in St Lucia at the start of Saturday’s play, which caused a two-hour delay in the start of play.
“This action was alleged to amount to a serious breach of the Laws of Cricket and to be contrary to the spirit of the game. All Level 3 breaches carry an imposition of between four and eight suspension points.”
Sri Lanka eventually took to the field at 1050 local time – 50 minutes after the scheduled start – but there was then a further delay of 40 minutes as Chandimal began arguing with the umpires before a delivery was bowled.
The tourists gathered on the boundary, but after further negotiations with match referee Javagal Srinath and their coaching staff, Lahiru Kumara finally resumed his 14th over at 1130 with a replacement ball selected by the West Indies batsmen.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) released a statement on Saturday saying its players “have not engaged in any wrongdoing” and that the team had taken to the field “under protest”.