Never write-off England in India Test series - Darren Gough

Additionally, the IPL final will be played 10 days before the ICC Champions Trophy, which starts on June 1 in England.
Darren Gough believes the India England Test match will be closely contested
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Former England speedster Darren Gough believes England will be able to give a tough fight to India in the upcoming five-match Test series despite the odds are stacked against them.

England will be locking horns with India in the first Test in Rajkot on Wednesday and how they will tackle the Indian spinners will remain the focus of the series.

Recently, England lost their first ever Test to Bangladesh in cricketing history during the second game of the series in Dhaka after they were outplayed by the spin combination of Mehedi Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan.

Gough believes the pitches in India will not be as spin-friendly as those in Bangladesh. However, he cautioned them as the game progresses, it will be increasingly difficult to bat in these conditions.

"I don't think wickets in India will turn as much as Bangladesh to start with but as the game goes on the third, fourth and fifth day will see similar conditions. The toss of the coin is going to be vital."

Experts like Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan had earlier stated that England will go on to lose the series in India especially if they don't get their combination right.

Gough, who has played 58 Test matches for England said the team has enough potential to beat any team in the world if they address their spin bowling conundrum.

"We always got a chance. I am not going to write-off England. We got some fantastic players. Ben Stokes can play in any team in the world. Alastair Cook's record plays for himself. Joe Root probably needs to do little bit more away from home. I think he has eight hundreds in UK and only two away. It needs to improve.

"They need to take a decision on Rashid. I think he was disappointing in Bangladesh in pitches that aided spinners. Ansari as a bowler, I don't think he is ready for Test cricket yet. I think they will go to Gareth Batty. He gives them control.

"If you look at Indian spinners - Jadeja and Ashwin. They go for 2 to 2.4 an over in these conditions. It is not many. Between them they have 200 odd wickets in India. Ridiculous law of average and they also have guys who can play spin well.

"When you look at it on paper, the results seems scary but I will never write off England.They got fighting spirit and also world class players."

© Cricket World 2016


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