Winning 2-0 in England was really special, says Chetan Sharma

The former bowler expects India to dominate the forthcoming series.

The 1986 tour was memorable as India won the first two Tests, with the third match ending in a draw.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Chetan Sharma sees a bit of himself in Mohammad Shami. The style of delivery and the follow through, insists the former India speedster, transfers him back into time. “Is he not like me? Or was I not like him,” chuckles Chetan, who played two of his 23 Tests in England and left a mark on the series.

The 1986 tour was memorable as India won the first two Tests, with the third match ending in a draw.

“It was a remarkable series because the bowlers performed beyond expectations. Winning 2-0 in England was really special. Most of us who figured in that series have many pleasant memories,” Chetan told Sportstar.

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Chetan combined speed with an extra effort that extracted unsettling bounce. He was deceptive because his ball would skid or kick without any perceptible change in action.

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“I had bounce and speed, like Shami and (Umesh) Yadav. Shami hits the deck and the ball moves because he uses his wrist well. I think some help from the pitch will make Shami and Umesh very dangerous bowlers in this series.”

One of the key reasons for India’s excellent show in 1986 was the team’s preparation.

“We played quite a few side games which gave us a fair idea of the playing conditions. I was able to read them and prepare myself. In fact, I had been playing in the minor county league in 1984 and 1985 and that was again a good preparation for me,” remembered Chetan, who bagged six wickets in the Lord’s Test and 10 at Edgbaston, where India kickstarts the Test leg of the tour.

Chetan shared an anecdote on how his coach Desh Prem Azad came to his help in the first Test at Lord’s.

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“In the first four overs, I went for 25-odd runs and was struggling. Azad Sir was sitting in the stands and lost little time in telling me that I needed to change my end. I was bowling down the hill and when I went to bowl up the hill, my line and length fell in place. The reason was when bowling up the hill, I was getting to pause before the delivery and that helped me. It also helped that I did not open the bowling because a slightly old ball made me more effective.”

Chetan expects India to dominate the forthcoming series.

“We have an ideal attack. Umesh, Ishant (Sharma) and Shami complement themselves well. The spinners too can make an impact. I know the weather is warm now and that is good news for India. Runs from Virat (Kohli) should swing the series India’s way.”

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