Sunil Joshi: Spinners should go early to adapt to English conditions

The former left-arm spinner predicts the challenges awaiting young Indian spinners in England.

The form of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja should inspire confidence in the team ahead of the all-important tour.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

With India wrapping up the one-off Test against debutant Afghanistan in under two days, the focus has now shifted to the England tour starting July 3.

The form of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who took 11 wickets between them to rout Afghanistan by an innings and 262 runs, should inspire confidence in the team ahead of the all-important tour.

And former India spinner and current spin consultant of Bangladesh, Sunil Joshi, feels that the spinners should also travel early — following the trend set by batsmen and fast bowlers — while making it clear that a well-designed plan will make life easy for the tweakers.

“Spinners should go early and feel the conditions better. Straightaway going there and playing a three-day game or a four-day game may not help them. Spending a week or at least 10 days and bowling in different weather conditions will be more comfortable for the Indian spinners,” Joshi told Sportstar.

''Specific objective' needed

Having played club cricket in England, Joshi understands the challenge a spinner faces in that part of the world. “In England, breeze plays an important role. When the sun comes out, the wind will be there. The conditions will be chillier when it is cloudy. You got to have a specific objective to counter it. That needs to be addressed,” Joshi said.

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“Today, spinners are not just bowlers, they are wicket-takers in all formats of the game. At times, you can shift roles, but you cannot write off spinners from a particular format,” he said, drawing reference to the performance of Indian spinners in South Africa.

'Challenge'

“We all know what [Yuzvendra] Chahal and Kuldeep [Chahal] did [in South Africa]. England will not have the same surfaces. Bowling with and against the breeze is challenging there. The young spinners should be able to negotiate that,” Joshi pointed out.

“You need to know your spinners, who would withstand in all the five Tests, and who would be your back-up. I am sure the Indian coaching staff will have this in mind,” he added.

While Kuldeep and Chahal are yet to play in England, what should Ashwin — who has already played county cricket — keep in mind?

“Be it a star player or not, one has to go through the routines. Your inconsistency will come when you miss routines. So, bottom-line is, be it, anyone, you have to tick all the boxes required to be a top performer for the team,” Joshi concluded.