India v England: We’re ready for the spin test, insists Richard Halsall
India v England: Coach Richard Halsall says the tourists are well-prepared to face spin in their four-Test series on the sub-continent
England coach Richard Halsall has dismissed suggestions Alastair Cook and his team-mates are not prepared for the Test series against India after a lack of practice against spin bowling.
In the three warm-up matches, England faced just one front-line spinner, Amit Mishra, who bowled only 17.1 out of 193 overs in the final game against Haryana.
But Halsall feels 10 full days of cricket puts England in a great position going into Thursday’s opening Test in Ahmedabad.
“We’re delighted with the preparation,” Halsall told the ECB’s website.
“The amount we’ve managed to get into our batsman who’ve scored five centuries so far and spent a lot of time in the middle.”
Halsall is confident England can excel with the bat after their projected top-seven all passed fifty with none looking out of nick when given their chance in any of the practice games.
“It’s not a concern [to have not faced spin in the warm-up games],” he added.
“It has been strange bearing in mind there were spinners playing but not in the middle.
“We’ve been fortunate; we’ve had some exceptional net bowlers. So, we’ve managed to get enough high-pressure sessions into the batsman ahead of the Test.
“It is frustrating. But what we’ve been able to do is give the players sufficient practice of a high enough quality off the pitch so they feel ready.
“So hopefully, when you see them in the middle, they look quite comfortable against what is put against them.
Injuries to Steven Finn and Stuart Broad – the latter has fully recovered to be considered for selection – means the bowlers have been the main concern for England.
With Finn certain to miss out, Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions are left to fight it out for the spare spot in England’s likely four-man attack.
And Halsall believes that any of the bowlers in the squad will be ready if called upon.
“Our bowlers have managed to get five spells into their legs so they feel ready,” said England’s fielding coach.
“The off-field facilities have been exceptional and we’ve had some incredible co-operation from the local Indian authorities. It’s been very pleasing.”
“So the fact the players feel ready is testament to what we’ve done.”