Tuesday 8 July 2014 

Farokh Engineer: We Are Going To Have One Hell Of A Series

Captains Alastair Cook and MS Dhoni pose with the trophy ahead of the five-Test series
Captains Alastair Cook and MS Dhoni pose with the trophy ahead of the five-Test series
© REUTERS / Action Images
 
 

Farokh Engineer is covering the England-India Test series exclusively for Cricket World as a Lycamobile ambassador.

Speaking to us from Nottingham, he previews the Test, talking about the atmosphere, pre-match comments, the Tebbit Test and nailing his colours to the mast...

On the atmosphere in Nottingham, venue for the first Test:

The atmosphere is great here, both sides are raring to go. The Indian boys are up for avenging the 4-0 defeat of 2011. They got a right hammering last time they were here and certainly they have different ideas this time and they are very much looking forward to the series. They are very optimistic in fact.

On the pre-match comments both sides are making:

At the moment they are just sparring against each other, making comments. Virat Kohli is making comments about Alastair Cook's form.

It's called gamesmanship, playing on each others' nerves and all that...I'd call it sparring at the moment.

The real thing starts tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, who wins the toss and if we have a nice sunny day and India win the toss, they are more than capable of getting a huge total and putting England under real pressure

By the same token, if conditions are a bit cloudy, James Anderson and Stuart Broad can be a bit of a handful, so who knows, whatever happens, we are going to have one hell of a series

On the series being played over five Tests:

A five-Test series is a true test to see which is the better side. In a short series, if it rains and favours one of the sides in one Test, the other side could benefit or otherwise so I think a five-Test series is a very fair thing for both sides and at the end of the five-Test series we'll know who the better side is.

The Indian batsmen (Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli, MS Dhoni and the others) are all very good players, tried and tested on Indian pitches. Now is the true test for them on English pitches because to play cricket in England is completely different to playing in India.

The pitches are flat in India whereas over here the ball moves around a lot more so I hope they are well-versed, well experienced; they've appointed Rahul Dravid as a batting coach which is a step in the right direction

On the changes the players will need to make to succeed in England:

You've got to wait for the ball to come on to the bat here, whereas in India you go after the ball. There are other differences in technique as well, you don't leave a gap between bat and pad here, because the ball deviates in the air and off the pitch so there are so many things they've got to keep in mind, and I'm sure the coaches and the experienced players will guide the younger players too.

On the Indian bowling attack:

Although the Indian bowlers are relatively inexperienced, they are good bowlers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, who has the most experience, these are players that on their day can be as quick as anyone, and can trouble the best batsmen.

It all depends on if they get their line, length and rhythm right. For me, the rhythm is the most important thing and confidence is also very important.

Who he is supporting and who he thinks will win:

You are asking a rather biased question! I would naturally say India. My heart says India although I have been living in England all these years and in fact, the Norman Tebbit test started with me.

We were playing at Stoke and Tebbit asked me the question when India were about to tour England, "Farokh, who are you going to support," and I said "India," having captained and played for India for all these years.

He turned round to John Major and said, "Look John, Farokh lives in England, but still supports India." John said, "Can you blame him for that?"

The whole Norman Tebbit issue started with me and I think it ended with me as well.

Back to this series though and for me, it is India, all the way, especially as they are riding on a bit of a high, but they'll have to play well.

Farokh Engineer was talking to John Pennington and Alastair Symondson as a Lycamobile ambassador. If you would like to win a holiday to India with Lycamobile, click here: http://www.lycamobile.co.uk/en/wintriptoindia

© Cricket World 2014

 
Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London
India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London
England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs