Tests will be tougher for England

Suresh Raina_AFP.jpg.crop_display.jpg

India A skipper Suresh Raina felt that England players know how to play spin bowling but they will face a different challenge in the Test series which gets underway in Ahmedabad from November 15.

“They have some good batsmen who know how to tackle spin. But there will be different wickets in Tests and a different attack altogether. India has good spinners and quality seamers in Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav. Hopefully it will be a good contest,” said Raina after the conclusion of second day’s play between India A and England at Brabourne stadium here on Wednesday.

Raina felt that India A didn’t miss a specialist spinner as he and Yuvraj Singh did a good job against England on Wednesday. “Me and Yuvraj (plus Manoj Tiwary and Murali Vijay) bowled close to 40 overs. I think we managed well in the spin department. They were struggling against us at one point of time. But Cook was solid and played really well to engage in a (153-run) partnership with Samit Patel. Samit knows well how to play spin,” he said.

“It is difficult to prepare a spin track for a three day game so they were planning for a seaming track here. England have played a lot of spin here in IPL. May be they (England) were thinking something else,” Raina reacted to a question whether India didn’t want England to face specialist spinners here.

Raina said it was part of plan to unleash Yuvraj to Kevin Pietersen. “Yuvi has got success against him earlier. So we decided to give him couple of overs against KP and that plan worked. Yuvraj was happy after taking his wicket. Hopefully you will see more Yuvraj bowling against KP,” he said.

The left handed middle order batsman praised Cook and Pietersen. “Cook has been batting well from last two years and I wish him best of luck. KP is a world class batsman but he needs to score runs against India here,” he said.

Patel who is unbeaten on 82 in an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 153 with skipper Cook said he hasn’t sealed his place yet in the Test XI. “We have couple of more practice games to go before the first Test. So there is still a lot of work to do. But it is a good start for me and it feels great,” said Patel.

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