Graeme Swann believes 12-Test-old Jack Leach will be the key bowler for Joe Root's side in India. One of England's most successful spinners, Graeme Swann, also advised the English bowlers to play the patient game against India's batsmen.
England are set to lock horns with Virat Kohli's side in a 4-Test series starting on February 5. Except for seasoned all-rounder Moeen Ali and Leach, England only has the inexperienced Dom Bess in the squad.
Off-spinner Leach has made big strides in international cricket, the latest being a brilliant 5-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in Galle. Overall, Leach has 40 wickets to his name at an average of 32.08.
Speaking on The Hussain and Key Cricket Show, Graeme Swann said Leach's consistency from one end will allow Joe Root to attack better with other bowlers.
"Jack Leach is the one for me in India -- he has to run up and be prepared to bowl nothing but straight deliveries, pitching middle stump and hitting middle stump. If Jack Leach can do that and almost tie one end up bowling 40 overs a day, then you can rotate the strike bowlers in (Mark) Wood, (James) Anderson and (Stuart) Broad and get the other spinner attacking more," said Graeme Swann.
England lead the 2-Test series against Sri Lanka 1-0, and look set to win the second game as well. However, India will be a completely different cup of tea. The last time they toured the country, Kohli's men gave them a 4-0 drubbing in 2016.
Be patient, bowl all day, and you will take wickets in India: Graeme Swann
England's last series victory on Indian shores came in 2012-13 under Alastair Cook's captaincy, on the back of brilliant performances by Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. Talking with experience, Swann remarked that if the bowlers can be the patient day in and day out, they will certainly reap the rewards.
"The one thing that I used to say to myself is, it's going to spin and it does spin -- even on day one where they are fairly flat pitches. If you bowl well enough, especially against India, they play you very respectfully. There is not a Virender Sehwag in that current team; Virat Kohli when he bats against spin waits for the bad ball. India is very, very patient but if you are willing to be patient and bowl all day you will take wickets. You might have to work very hard for them and you'll lose some timber, which isn't a bad thing," said Graeme Swann.
The teams will play 2 Tests in Chennai followed by an equal number of games in Ahmedabad.