John Wright

John Wright

Ahmedabad, Nov 1, 2012

Former India coach and New Zealand cricketer John Wright pointed out that hosts will miss the experience of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in the middle during the upcoming India-England Test series.

Wright also ruled out India’s complete dominance, but insisted that it will be a closely contested series.

“The Test series will be interesting. England are coming off a home series defeat against South Africa (2-0), while India will miss the experience of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

The middle-order is quite new. The series will be a closely-contested one and it won’t be 4-0 to India,” Wright said.

The former Test cricketer added that the first innings of the match will hold the key to success as the team that will put runs on the board or picks up early wickets will enjoy an upper hand.

He also mentioned that it will be a real test for the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha.

However, Wright said that the two have bowled very well in tandem so far.

The first of the four Tests is scheduled to be played at Motera Stadium here on November 15.

India go into the series against the backdrop of eight consecutive away Test defeats. However, they beat bottom placed New Zealand 2-0 at home in September.

Averse to the idea of Day-Night Test matches, Wright said the ICC’s move to introduce D/N Tests is an attempt to bring back spectators but the format should be thoroughly trialled first.

“The idea is good on paper but cricketing realities have to be taken into consideration before it is practically applied,” Wright said, highlighting the difficulties that a cricketer would have to face while playing at night in colder climes such as Wellington.

As an opening batsman, he said, he would be delighted to face bowlers in the afternoon, because at night bowlers will get an unfair advantage in a venue like Durban.

On the battle for No. 1 rank in Tests, Wright said: “The field is quite competitive and currently there is no one side which is dominating both at home and on road.”

South Africa have the best balance, but Wright doesn’t see them dominating the Test arena in the next few years. “Though India climbed the summit of Test cricket and stayed at the top for some time, it was a difficult stay,” he said.

“It is tough for a side to stay at the top consistently, but India has the talent and fight to reclaim the top spot,” Wright said.

On the resurgence of the West Indies, Wright stated that they have got talent to challenge the opposition in shorter formats and are a tough and improving team.

Talking about his native country and their slide in Test format, Wright said: “New Zealand lacks depth as a unit.”

He added that the lack of quality spinner apart from Daniel Vettori was a big handicap for the team.

“The team has promising talent both in batting and fast bowling departments, but their performance has been inconsistent,” Wright pointed.

Regarding Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir‘s poor run of form with the bat, the Kiwi said: “They should bide some time at the wicket before going for shots.”

“If they can bat for two hours, the job of the middle-order will be easy,” he insisted.

On having different captains for different formats, Wright said it is easy for a coach to co-ordinate with a single captain, but with the amount of cricket being played, multiple captains might become the order of the day.

Wright, meanwhile, favoured the concept of having a Test Championship, saying that the top Test teams playing together can bring back the glory to the longer version of the game.