India v England: Tourists should be braced for stern test – MS Dhoni
India v England: Mahendra Singh Dhoni warns the tourists to be prepared for a tough four-Test series on the sub-continent
Mahendra Singh Dhoni says England should be braced for a tough challenge from his side in the four-Test series in the sub-continent.
Alastair Cook’s men have shown great proficiency in the three warm-up matches leading up to the Thursday’s first Test in Ahmedabad.
And while Dhoni admits his side will give England respect, he warned the tourist they face an uphill task against India’s spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha.
“You need to respect the opposition,” said Dhoni.
“Whichever country you are from, 60 or 70 per cent of your cricket will be played at home – so you’re supposed to be good there.
“When you go to a different part of the world, it’s a fresh challenge for you.
“When we go to a different place, it’s the same for us. I think it will be the same for the English side here.”
The recently-relaid pitch at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Patel Stadium looks dry already, before a ball has been bowled, and Dhoni added: “I definitely think it will turn.”
In India’s last home series against New Zealand, Ashwin and Ojha topped the bowling averages, collecting 18 and 13 wickets respectively over two Test matches.
And India’s skipper was more than happy to outline the duo’s abilities to England ahead of the first Test.
“Ashwin will always be a more aggressive bowler, in the sense he is someone who has plenty of variations and loves to use them,” said Dhoni.
“Ashwin can almost bowl each and every delivery anyone can bowl – he’s got the flipper, the googly, bowls leg-spin, off-spin, the ‘carrom’ ball.
“Ojha’s important role is to keep it tight, so that Ashwin can attack.
“But sometimes, of course, it can work the other way round as well.”