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Net bowlers feel England will face spin problems in the upcoming series

Joe Root of England
CHITTAGONG, BANGLADESH – OCTOBER 20: Joe Root of England bats during the first Test match between Bangladesh and England at Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on October 20, 2016 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After a successful time in the Bangladesh, England is now gearing up for the five-match Test series against India in their home turf. India, obviously, start as the favourites while English skipper Alastair Cook himself has admits that they will be the underdogs. While home advantage is one reason why India will begin as favourites, another factor which puts England in this state is their ability to cope with their struggle against spin.

While Ben Stokes did his bit to save his side from the blushes of a series loss, his teammates were clueless as Mehedi Hasan Raza and Shakib Al Hasan ran riot. Alastair Cook and Co, before leaving to Rajkot, were in Mumbai left no stone unturned as they practised against the net bowlers under the watchful eyes of coach Trevor Bayliss and batting coach Mark Ramprakash.

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England would be hoping to improve after the fiasco in the Bangladesh tour, the net bowlers who bowled at the English batsmen reveal that England might face some more difficult times in the India series which commences from November 9.

Siddharth Sharma, who bowled against Root during the practice session at the Cricket Club of India on Saturday, believes that England’s numero uno batsman is playing his shots a bit too early.

“Although England batsmen played well against spinners in the nets, they can struggle if the wickets are very slow. If they get a wicket like this (like the one at the CCI), they will struggle against spin. They will struggle for the bounce and if the ball stops a bit on the wicket. It will be very difficult because on the English wicket the ball comes very fast and here it stops a little.

“So, they may find it difficult during the late hours of day’s play,” added the 23-year-old pace bowler.“I was bowling in the good area and Joe Root was leaving the balls outside the off stump. Although he was playing some good shots, he tends to play his shots too early. I tried something with the semi-new ball and he might struggle in the match,” said Sharma.

Meanwhile, Siddharth, who also bowled against Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Steven Finn, admitted that it was a good experience bowling to an international team like England. Siddharth had also bowled against the visitors in 2012-13.

When the team was in India in 2012-13, he was amongst a group of cricketers against whom England stars practised. He praised Eoin Morgan, who now leads England side in the limited-over cricket but is no longer a part of England’s Test squad, and said that the attacking player of Morgan’s class should have been with this side.

“Morgan is a classy player. He plays well. He is an attacking player and does not defend much and someone England should have had (in Tests) in these conditions,” he said.

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