India’s spinners are better than England’s, will be defining in the end, says Michael Atherton

London, Jan 20 – Former England captain Michael Atherton believes India’s spin attack is better as compared to the visitors’ line-up and added that the difference between the two spin departments will be a series-defining factor.

The pitches in India are expected to favour spinners hugely, with the highly-experienced quartet of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, and left-arm spin all-rounders of Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel present in the hosts’ line-up.

England have a four-member spin-bowling attack in Jack Leach, leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed, uncapped duo of left-arm spinner Tom Hartley and off-spinner Shoaib Bashir. From the quarter, only left-arm spinner Leach has played Tests previously in India.

“I think India will win. Their spinners are better than England’s and that will be the defining thing in the end. If you go to India, spin will play a big part, it historically has done and I suspect it always will do. India do have a very strong seam attack as well,” said Atherton on Sky Sports.

India have emerged victorious in 16 consecutive Test series at home ever since they lost 2-1 to England in 2012. “India’s four spinners are very different to England’s. They have two left-arm finger spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. They have a wrist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the greatest spinners of all time.”

“England have a solid left-arm spinner in Jack Leach and then three very inexperienced spinners after that with Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir and Rehan Ahmed. It will be a particular challenge for them but the selectors see a high ceiling for them.”

The upcoming India-England Test series will begin from Hyderabad on January 25, followed by other matches at Visakhapatnam (February 2-6), Rajkot (February 15-19), Ranchi (February 23-27) and Dharamshala (March 7-11).


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