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Tendulkar hopeful of a good show from Kohli, Team India in England Tests

first_imgSachin Tendulkar has backed Virat Kohli and Team India to come out on top in the upcoming five-match Test series against England starting August 1.Tendulkar said Kohli’s 2014 performance will have nothing to do with how he would perform in the Test series.On India’s previous tour of England, Kohli had a disastrous outing where he was troubled by James Anderson and Stuart Broad.Back then, he scored 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in the five Tests and finished the series with an average of 13.50.Virat Kohli’s nightmare against spin continues in EnglandHowever, Tendulkar feels that it will have no bearing on Indian captain’s performance this time as India look to win their first Test series in England since 2007.”Virat’s 2014 performance has got nothing to do with how he would perform in the upcoming series. And it’s not just about Virat’s performance. If you ask me if I am hopeful of a good show from Virat, my answer would be “Why only Virat? I am hopeful of a good show from the Indian team. It’s the team that needs to perform well,” Tendulkar told PTI in an interview.For Australia, Virat Kohli is similar to Steve Smith: Pat Cummins’BHUVNESHWAR’S INJURY A SETBACK’India have suffered a massive blow as Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been ruled out of the first three Tests after sustaining a back injury. Bhuvneshwar, who was India’s key player in the 2014 tour of England, has returned home and will undergo a fitness program at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to recuperate from the injury.advertisement Bhuvneshwar Kumar is out of the first three Tests vs England with back injury (Reuters Photo)Tendulkar did agree that missing Bhuvneshwar Kumar during the first three Tests along with Jasprit Bumrah for the opening game in Birmingham, “will be a setback” for India.”Bhuvi’s injury [stiff back] is a real setback for India. I was expecting a lot from him. He has over the years performed at a level that you expect a certain kind of performance from him. With his ability to swing the ball, he was going to be very critical to India’s scheme of things during the Test series.”And let’s not forget those runs that Bhuvi scored in England during the last series (2014). He is a decent enough batsman, who could string those partnerships at the back end of the innings. But then, I believe that we still have a lot of quality in our pace department [Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur].”Rishabh Pant named in India squad for first 3 Tests vs EnglandAbout Bumrah, Tendulkar felt that he was missed more during the ODI series.”Bumrah was certainly missed by India in the ODI series during those crucial death overs where he has been a champion bowler. He has started off well in Test cricket and this series is a wonderful opportunity for him. But he is expected to comeback during second Test. So I am hoping for the best,” Tendulkar said.’INDIA NOT DEPLETED’But the highest run-getter in Test cricket refused to believe that missing Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah in the first Test will affect the morale of the side and especially skipper Virat Kohli.”Let me give you an example of my playing days. I was the captain during the 1997 Sahara Cup in Toronto. The Indian team didn’t have Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Anil Kumble. Yet, we beat Pakistan 4-1 (series best remembered for Sourav Ganguly’s four back-to-back MoM awards). I don’t think we should call India a depleted side as it is being unfair to the others, who will be playing in the series.”What I am trying to say is that you might just get the best out of your resources in adverse conditions. Just because you don’t have certain key players doesn’t mean that you will have a certain kind of result. It never happens like that in any sport. Accepted that it’s not a great thing to go into a big series without your key player but then you just have to move on and focus on your job ahead,” Tendulkar said.’KULDEEP STILL A BIG THREAT’England Test captain Joe Root may have decoded how to tackle chinaman Kuldeep Yadav but Tendulkar feels that the young wrist spinner could still prove to be a handful if the home team prepares dry surfaces for the Test series.”Whatever I saw on television, Root picked Kuldeep from his hand and did that really well. Now Kuldeep’s wrist action is a complex one and once he lands the ball, I don’t think too many batsmen in world cricket have got the ability to tackle him off the pitch. Root could afford to play Kuldeep late because he was picking his wrist position early,” Tendulkar said.advertisement Sachin Tendulkar says Kuldeep Yadav will be big threat (Reuters Photo)When asked if these are ominous signs for the Indian team, Tendulkar however begged to differ.”I don’t think all the other England batsmen have played Kuldeep well. The kind of weather that has been in England with the sun baking the pitches, Kuldeep will be very much in action and so will be the other Indian spinners.”If the pitches remain flat and dry like the ones during the limited-overs leg, India are in with a very good chance. But if it’s a green top, obviously, the England seamers will come into the play,” the legend said.Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha injuries raise several questionsThe first Test will be played at Edgbaston from August 1 and that will be followed by Test matches at Lord’s (August 9 to August 13), Trent Bridge (August 18 to August 22), The Rose Bowl (August 30 to September 3) and Kennington Oval (September 7 to September 11).(Interview by PTI)last_img read more