Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly predicted the outcome of the upcoming India-England Test series by saying that India would win the series 4-0 or 3-0. Ganguly feels that England, despite being a stronger side than New Zealand, lack the firepower to defeat India in the spin-friendly sub-continent pitches.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Ganguly spoke about the recent struggles India have had against the Englishmen back in 2012 when England defeated India in India and the 3-1 drubbing they received when they travelled to England in 2014. Despite the recent success against India, he feels that the current England squad are not strong enough to beat India.
He said that they would miss the presence of the specialist spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann in their team, the two who were vital in England’s success back in India in 2012. He went on to speak about how James Anderson was at his fearful best in 2012 but his form has dropped over the years and how India should be able to tackle him with ease.
Speaking about the key players from England, Ganguly felt that India would have to be wary of Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Ben Stokes, the latter two who have been in terrific form over the past few months.
“The likes of Joe Root, who I think is an outstanding player. Ben Stokes, who I think will have a huge role in this series. These three have to fire for England consistently if they have to have some chance in the series," said Ganguly.
He went on to speak about the importance Moeen Ali will have on the English side with his ability to spin the ball along with his worthy batting ability in the middle order.
"He is definitely a threat for India," Ganguly said. "The wickets will spin. His confidence against India will be high as a bowler. He has definitely become a better batsman than since that trip of 2014 when he was peppered with short deliveries from Ishant Sharma and the Indian bowlers. He has definitely become a better cricketer than then. He will be tested. He needs to get runs and get wickets as well, but do they have a Graeme Swann or Monty Panesar? I don't think so."
He expects India to be a completely changed side from what they were four years ago. India were low on confidence in 2012 as they had come off a string of poor results outside India and Ganguly felt that their lack of confidence played a part in the 2-1 series defeat against England at home.
With Virat Kohli at the helm now, India look a completely different and refreshed side and would be relishing the English challenge. The first Test is all set to begin at Rajkot on November 9th.