Ramprakash: Our players have gained valuable experience

"Although we have lost the Test series, I feel we have certainly got better," England team's batting coach, Mark Ramprakash, said about the team’s performance.

There have been plenty of positives from the Test series, according to England batting coach, Mark Ramprakash.   -  Getty Images

As the India-England Test series nears its end, a rather forgettable one for the visiting team, which had won the Test series last time it was in India, the team’s batting coach Mark Ramprakash spoke to Sportstar about the performances and the lessons learnt by England from this tough series. “Results haven’t gone our way but I feel the players have improved. They have gained valuable experience, a lot of them are around 25-26 and have a lot of cricket ahead of them, they have improved their play against spin. Although we have lost the Test series, I feel we have certainly got better,” Ramprakash says about the team’s performance.

One big difference for the team has been the gaping hole left in the middle order by Kevin Pietersen, who was sacked from the England squad in an inglorious manner by Andrew Strauss. Pietersen played a key role for England in 2012 and his innings of 186 in Mumbai on a spinning track is considered one of the greatest ever played by any foreign player visiting India. Ramprakash feels the current England squad has players capable of replicating that performance, “There is only one Kevin Pietersen, and every team would love to have someone like him in the team. He played an absolute brilliant innings in Mumbai four years ago, but we have players who are capable of playing such an innings. Someone like a Bairstow, who has had a very good year, Stokes is learning all the time, Moeen Ali got a 100 in Rajkot, then a 50 in Mumbai, we have great stroke players but any team would miss a Kevin Pietersen.”

Another integral cog of the England team that won the series in India was the spin bowling of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann. The current spin attack led by leg-spinner Adil Rashid hasn’t been that impressive. “English conditions are very different to Indian conditions, we don’t have many spin bowlers,” Ramprakash admits, but he also defended the performances of Rashid and Ali saying, they have learnt from this tour. “They have learnt to be accurate, the tactics on how to put the field in different positions and also mentally, that you have to be resilient against quality players.”

But it hasn’t been all that gloomy for England. It has found a long-term solution to its problem of getting a suitable opening partner to Alastair Cook in the form of 19-year-old Haseeb Hammed, who has impressed everyone with his technique and temperament. Ramprakash has nothing but good words to say about the youngster. “He’s had a very good coaching from his father (Ismail Hameed) and also the coach from Mumbai (Vidyadhar Paradkar). His basics are very good. He is very enthusiastic, and a pleasure to work with. He is also very calm and controls his emotions at the crease very well. He has a very bright future.”

There have been plenty of other positives as well, according to Ramprakash. “Rashid has learnt a lot, then there have been good contributions from the batsmen, be it Haseeb or Jennings, Moeen’s 100 in Rajkot, Stokes performance in Rajkot. It has been hardwork for the pace bowlers, which we knew it would be," he says.

“We wanted results; we haven’t won but as long as players go home better, it's ok,” Ramprakash sums up.