‘England aren’t making too much of a meal of the turning ball’
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While Mark Ramprakash never quite managed to cement a place in the England Test team for an extended period of time, Graham Thorpe remained the team's batting mainstay during his career. The two did end up playing 26 Tests together, not to forget three years of county cricket at Surrey.
But as they sat discussing, and at times lamenting, about the discrepancies in the techniques of the young batsmen in the England Lions setup at the DY Patil Stadium on Tuesday, the transition they've made from playing to coaching was very much apparent. While Thorpe has been the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) head batting coach since 2010, this tour with the England Lions is the first for Ramprakash.
The former middle-order batsmen spoke to Bharat Sundaresan about their experiences of playing in the subcontinent, the talent on offer in the Lions squad and their approaches towards playing spin.
The present England team's performance in the two Tests so far?
MR: There has been a lot of talk in the media about spin. Everybody knew that India were going to prepare turning track. And England knew that they will be facing a lot of spin bowling. That's no shock. England are fully aware that they have to try and work on their game against spin. Just like when they are going to Australia they'll try and work against the bouncing ball. Within the England camp, they aren't making too much of a meal of the turning ball. If you are playing a lot of spin, you will get out more often than not to spin. And like you saw with Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook, they seem to be improving all the time.
GT: Kevin and Alastair played two great knocks at Wankhede. They were different in styles for sure. But I would still not say that England have mastered spin or gotten over their travails against the Indian spinners. It could have easily been different if the series score read 2-0. They were special knocks. But there is still a lot of hard work ahead of them.
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