New Delhi: Nov 14, 2012
Legendary seamer Wasim Akram feels the presence of former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed as a spin bowling coach of England will boost the team and prepare them better to exploit the Indian conditions during the four-Test series starting in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
"The presence of Mushtaq Ahmed will stand England in good stead. Mushy has been with the English team for the last six years and the former Pakistan leg-spinner has built a good bowling unit," Akram told ESPN-STAR.com.
"He has not only been a mentor to the English spinners but has also taught the seamers the nuances of reverse spin, which will be very handy on Indian pitches.
The former Pakistan skipper said England are a formidable side as they have a good bowling and batting attack.
"After a long time this England team looks a formidable lot. So any predication that India will wipe them out 4-nil is being a little overambitious. While I am not willing to predict a scoreline, England will be a difficult team to beat and the visitors have already showed their intentions in the warm-up games in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
"England have a talented middle-order with Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott being the mainstay. And a quality spinner like Graeme Swann and a hard-working seamer like James Anderson give them the balance they need on Indian wickets," Akram said.
The 46-year-old former cricketer also feels in the absence of veterans like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who retired a few months ago, the onus will be on Virat Kohli and comeback man Yuvraj Singh to steer the batting.