Home > News >

India tour of England 2014: Rahul Dravid believes India’s attack will be key

Dravid appointed as the mentor to the Indian team for the England series © Getty images
Dravid appointed as the mentor to the Indian team for the England series © Getty images

London:  Jul 5, 2014

India’s largely unproven attack will decide if the tourists win their forthcoming Test series in England, according to former captain Rahul Dravid. Next week sees England and India begin a five-match campaign at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge ground.

It was at Trent Bridge where India, under Dravid’s leadership, beat England by seven wickets in 2007 on the way to a 1-0 win in a three-match contest — one of just three Indian Test series victories on English soil. However, it was a different story in 2011, their last series in England, when India were whitewashed 4-0. Although the likes of top-order greats Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Dravid himself — who quit two years ago — have since retired, India’s batting remains their strong suit.

“I think the key is going to be the ability to take 20 wickets,” Dravid told reporters at Lord’s, where he was due to play for MCC against the Rest of the World in a match marking the ground’s bicentenary on Saturday. Back in 2007, left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan, not selected for this tour, and retired leg-spinner Anil Kumble were the central figures in India’s attack. “When we won the series here in 2007, Zaheer was exceptional but he got good support from the other guys as well,” Dravid recalled. “Anil was brilliant because he was able to control the game by keeping one end tight, “he added.

India have the experienced Ishant Sharma,  the only bowler in their squad to have played a Test in England prior to this trip – as well as fellow seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Stuart Binny, son of 1983 World Cup-winning medium-pacer Roger, in their squad. Dravid said it was vital whoever among them was selected got the ball to move in the air. “All three of those seamers swung the ball in that (2007) series and if the Indians can pitch the ball up and swing it, I think they give themselves a chance.” India haven’t won a Test away from home since defeating the West Indies in June 2011 — a run now stretching to 14 matches.

But Dravid was confident India’s batsmen, including the talented Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, not forgetting captain MS Dhoni, would be up to the job. “I think most of them, whilst they’ve not played Test matches here, have been on ‘A’ tours here and they have played one-day cricket, including the Champions Trophy (which India won) last year. I see the potential for this young group of players to become a formidable batting force. “Dravid made his first tour of England in 1996, marking his Test debut with 95 at Lord’s during an innings where fellow-debutant Sourav Ganguly struck 131.

It was the start of Dravid’s cricketing love affair with England, where the composed right-hander made six hundreds — including one at Lord’s in 2011 — in 13 Tests, amassing nearly 1,400 runs at an average of more than 68. “There is a great opportunity here, a great learning experience,” said the 41-year-old Dravid, renowned for proving that steely competitiveness and a gentlemanly, courteous, approach to cricket could co-exist happily.

“I know how much I learned from my first tour of England. I went away from here a much better cricketer and better person for it,” he said. As for being back at Lord’s, Dravid added: “I love coming to this ground. I was walking over to the nets with Sachin, and we agreed there is something special about this place.” Dravid has been an advisor to the India team while they have been in England and will join up with them again ahead of the first Test, which starts on Wednesday. However, asked if he had a “mentoring role” with the squad, he laughingly replied: “We will see with the results. If it goes well, I have done it.”

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India reach 71/1 at stumps

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Sunil Gavaskar accuses India’s inability to claim lower-order wickets

Virat Kohli good, but MS Dhoni right man to lead India in Tests for now: Dilip Vengsarkar

Madhya Pradesh Ranji player Udit Birla accuses Narendra Hirwani of being abusive

Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in Matthew Hayden’s World Cup Greatest XI

Live Streaming: India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India and tail

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail ought to take leaf out of Australian tail’s book

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: New Zealand likely XI

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here