India v England: We shouldn’t be afraid to use spinners – Mike Gatting

India v England: Mike Gatting insists the tourists have the potential to frustrate the hosts if Alastair Cook's men produce a tight bowling display

Mike Gatting has urged England not to be afraid to use their spinners against India in the four-Test series which starts in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

The tourists are facing a selection dilemma over who should complement chief spinner Graeme Swann, with all-rounder Samit Patel in good form but Monty Panesar boasting a history of success in India.

Former England Test captain Gatting believes frustrating India, who have not lost to their opponents in the sub-continent since 1985, will be a team effort regardless of who is selected.

And the ex-Middlesex batsman is confident that if Alastair Cook’s men can produce an efficient bowling display, England will be able to frustrate India in front of a demanding home crowd.

“England must not be afraid,” said Gatting.

“They must know when to use the new ball, which I’m sure they will do, and they must not be afraid to use their spinners, who have to keep a rein on it.

“Obviously try and use them as an attacking option, but they must try and frustrate the Indian batsman who like to get on with it.

“And the home crowd will get on their backs if they’re not hitting fours.

“So building and trying to keep the pressure on is important whether you’re a seamer or a spinner.

“You have to bowl with your partner at the other end, keep it tight, and try to put some pressure on India.”

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