Hyderabad: Though he may have played only two Tests and 45 one-day internationals in the 90s, Debasis Mohanty was considered one of the skillful swing bowlers in world cricket. The 42-year-old Odisha speedster, who always relished the conditions in England, says India have a good set of fast bowlers who could make a mark in the coming five-Test England series.
“The conditions are different because of the unusual dry weather in England. It will be different conditions and a tough challenge. Although India played the shorter formats of the game and the three-day warm-up match, Virat Kohli and his boys will face severe test. But this team has ability to stand up to the challenges as we had seen in South Africa earlier this year. The team has a good set of fast bowlers who can make a mark in this series.”
“But with the weather being warm, the pitches could be dry and there may not be much swing. It all depends on the climate. I doubt whether there will be swing. In fact, I would love to see the ball doing a bit. That is always the feature of any English tour. We have to keep our fingers crossed when the series starts from Wednesday.”
Mohanty said in June and July, the ball tends to seam and swing around. “I always liked those conditions. I used to get the ball dart around. It suited my bowling. If the pitches get dry, there could be some swing. However, I still feel the seamers could play a major role in the series after all it is a red-ball game.”
The former Indian speedster was all praise for England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson. “He is a natural swing bowler. His seam position is upright and the release of the ball is superb. He has got a good action by which he gets the outswing going and the stock ball is the off-cutter. He is the one that India would face a big challenge.”
On the battle between Virat Kohli and Anderson, Mohanty said the Indian captain is a more matured batsman when compared to the last series. “Virat relishes challenges and I think he might have made his homework to play Anderson. Nevertheless, it will be an interesting battle between these two cricketers.”
Talking about the Indian pace attack, Mohanty said it was unfortunate that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are on injured list. “Bhuvi has come a long way. He has mastered the art of swing bowling. His release of the ball is also very good. It is unfortunate that he is injured and in English conditions, he is an ideal bowler. Bumrah has grown in stature and has troubled the batsmen with late swing.”
Mohanty also had a high regard for Mohammad Shami. “He is brilliant. His wrist position is also ideal for seam bowling. He is also deceptive and very quick off the wicket. He skids the ball. If he gets the rhythm, then India could be at an advantage.”
“At the same time, Umesh Yadav has good pace. He is an improved bowler. With Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar injured, Umesh could be the ideal replacement. Ishant Sharma is more of a back-of-the-length bowler. He has the ability to hit the deck and can reverse swing the ball. He, like Umesh, has the pace,” he signed off.