Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes England can beat Sri Lanka at home but is wary of the Indian challenge that will follow the two-match Test series in the island nation.
England are slated to play a four-match Test series in India, starting from February 5, before engaging in five T20Is and three ODIs. The last time England visited India for a Test series was back in 2016 when Alastair Cook's team were thrashed 4-0 in the five-match series.
He referred to the famous 2012 tour, with England winning 2-1 in India on the back of Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar's brilliant outings.
Swann and Panesar took 20 and 17 wickets respectively on that tour.
"I’m optimistic about England’s chances in Sri Lanka but India will be a different kettle of fish. There was Alastair Cook’s successful tour in 2012 and David Gower’s before that but not many England teams have won there. If they are going to win in India one of the spinners will have to do what Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar did. And if they are going to win in Australia they will need that extra pace of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, or Olly Stone," said Nasser Hussain.
Nasser Hussain feels Joe Root has the ability to score big runs and win games for England
England captain Joe Root will face an uphill task both as a batsman and a skipper in the upcoming tour of the subcontinent.
He has a lowly average of 38 in Sri Lanka and a poor conversion rate in India, with just five fifties and a hundred to his name.
But Nasser Hussain feels Root possesses the ability to score big runs both in Sri Lanka and India.
"An England captain can survive winning while not getting runs, or getting runs while not winning, but it is very hard to survive losing Tests while not making those big runs. Root has the ability to score big runs and set up those wins in this pivotal year," said Hussain.
England's Test series against Sri Lanka kicks off on January 14 in Galle.