Mushtaq's presence as England spin bowling coach to boost team, says Akram
Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram feels that the presence of former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed as a spin bowling coach of England will boost the team and prepare them better to exploit the Indian conditions during the four-Test series starting in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
"The presence of Mushtaq will stand England in good stead. Mushy has been with the English team for the last six years and the former Pakistan leg-spinner has built a good bowling unit," the Daily Times quoted Akram, as saying.
"He has not only been a mentor to the English spinners but has also taught the seamers the nuances of reverse swing, which will be very handy on Indian pitches," he added.
Akram said England were a formidable side as they have a good bowling and batting attack.
"After a long time this England team looks a formidable lot. So any predication that India will wipe them out 4-nil is being a little over ambitious. While I am not willing to predict a score line, England will be a difficult team to beat and the visitors have already showed their intentions in the warm-up games in Mumbai and Ahmedabad," Akram said.
Akram said that in the absence of veterans like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who retired a few months ago, the onus would be on Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh to steer the batting.
"In the absence of Dravid and Laxman, the onus will be on Virat Kohli. Of course, it's early to compare him to Dravid but he certainly has the talent and the ability to take on any bowling attack in the world," he said.
"Another batsman who can play a vital role is Yuvraj Singh. It was absolutely apt to pick Yuvraj in the Test team. He has made a good comeback after his illness and has been getting runs for India and also in Ranji Trophy. The double-hundred in Ranji will give him a lot of confidence. The left-hander will also be a handy bowling option for Dhoni. He can turn the ball well on Indian decks and that will give Dhoni more bowling options," he added.