The world saw two different pictures on the very same day. While the England football team triumphed in the knockout stage of the World Cup against Colombia, the cricket team stumbled against India.
Cricket news: England need to find a route to beat Kuldeep Yadav’s spin to stay alive in the series
While the football team won on penalties, a rare of the rarest occasion in the football history, the cricket team still failed to grasp the intricacies of the spin bowling.
India’s left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav effortlessly went through the England batting line-up as his spin web ended the game even before the innings break at the Manchester.
To handle Kuldeep, England have reached out to ‘Merlyn’, a bowling machine which can bowl any type of deliveries based on the data fed into it. The machine was last used in 2005 Ashes to tackle the spin of Aussie legend Shane Warne.
Thursday’s morning sessions might have given the English batsmen some tips to face a bowler like Kuldeep, but it would be very important to read him from the hand in order to nullify his variations.
England wanted to get all hands on deck and hence their 100 days-a-year contract bowling consultant Saqlain Mushtaq watched over the net session where the spinners bowled.
England pacer Chris Jordan was questioned about the inherent weakness of the team against spin, but he said that the team has a better record against spin than most other teams since 2015.
He further added, "If we still try to stay on the front foot as much as possible and keep putting pressure back on them [Indian spinners], I hope we'll be okay."
Counterattacking a spinner can be a good option but it depends on the area of the field the batsmen targets. Mainly the square and backward square areas are targeted against spin.
But with the dimensions at the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff, it might become a hindrance. Rather they should target to play a lot straighter where the fence is shorter, like KL Rahul did in the previous game.
India had a cake walk in the first game apart from the fact that their main pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had an off-day, conceding 45 runs in 4 overs which included a 20-run over.
With the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, the management would hope that their star bowler improve his erratic lengths and get back to his peak form as early as possible.
Venue – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Probable XI: Jos Buttler (w), Jason Roy, Joe Root, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett/Jake Ball, David Willey, Chris Jordan
Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni (w), Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav