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A "pathetic tactic" against England?

alastair cook, andy flower, england's tour of india, england india test series, india A vs england, michael vaughan, david llyod
England captain Alastair Cook is looking at things differently and was unworried by the perceived tactic. -Photo by AP

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has termed BCCI’s decision to not play even a single spinner in its ‘A’ side, due to take on England in a warm-up, a “pathetic tactic.”

“India to play no spinners against England in the A team warm-up game ... if that’s what the game has come to???? Pathetic tactics,” Vaughan tweeted, after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named the squad to be led by Suresh Raina for the practice game to be played in Mumbai from October 30.

“I don’t think its (sic) in the Spirit of game. Prepare wickets which suit your team (spinning tracks) that should be enough… Poor form!!! India’s tactics are terrible for the game... It’s taking home advantage to a new level... Other teams might follow.”

Cricket writer Dileep Premachandran has countered by saying: “India have a settled spin attack in Test cricket, but plenty of questions about a pace line-up. Surely, Vaughan did not expect India's selection panel to aid their cause while ignoring their own problems?”

If indeed it is a conscious decision and a tactic, then it can be argued that on both counts India reserve the right to field an XI which they feel will help in getting their combination right before the first Test which starts in Ahmedabad on November 15.

And even if for a moment it is assumed that the BCCI’s ‘tactic’ is designed to deprive England of the much-needed spin practice before the Test series, did Vaughan expect Ravichandra Ashwin or Pragyan Ojha to bowl at Alastair Cook’s men in the nets?

India has a serious problem when it comes to fast-bowling, and even with plenty of options who can roll their arm over, there’s hardly a spear-head, a role which Zaheer Khan was fulfilling before becoming injury-prone in the last few years.

On the flipside, if the move is a deliberate attempt by BCCI at half-baking England’s preparations in the lead up to the Test series, it may set a precedent where host boards field weaker sides for warm-up matches.

That is a long shot, though, as most boards and even local associations want their best to be on display, so as to increase the chances of their newer, ‘unseen’ prospects making the cut.

Another former England player David Lloyd, who is also very active on Twitter, backed Vaughan’s criticism. “No spinner in India A team vs England....totally lacking in class and style decision,” he tweeted.

England captain Alastair Cook, however, is looking at things differently and was unworried by the perceived tactic.

“Anyone who has been there (to India) before knows there are a lot of net bowlers available to us and we can bat as long as we want against them and there are a lot of spinners we can face,” he said.

“We know what we have to do as a side in terms of playing spin from our experience earlier in the UAE (against Pakistan and Sri Lanka). We know we did not play spin very well at the start of the series in the UAE and we know we have got to start well in India and we are prepared to put the work in to do that,” added Cook as the English team prepares to leave for the tour of India.

If Vaughan’s concerns are legitimate, does the ICC have something new to look into? More importantly, though, have the English quarters already written off their chances against spin without a ball being bowled?

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Comments (14) Closed

Ghalib Khan
Oct 28, 2012 11:56am
I am no fan of BCCI, but this is a good one,
Oct 27, 2012 11:17pm
Do you even understand the subject ..
Oct 28, 2012 02:25pm
Oh come on! An English Cricket team in India that did not whinge would be a shocker!! Meanwhile, from Times of India today, "Prolific middle order batsman Virat Kohli reckons that it will be "absolutely fair" if India take advantage of home conditions and make the visiting English side play on rank turners during their upcoming tour. "Why not? We were given flattest of tracks during practice matches in England and Australia and then suddenly presented with a green-top during Tests. During practice matches, we would face those 120 kmph bowlers," a candid Kohli said during a freewheeling chat after a net session with the Delhi Ranji Trophy squad on Saturday. "If they (England and Australia) wanted to be fair to us, they could have provided us with same kind of tracks for practice matches like what were used in Tests. Especially, when they knew that visiting teams get very less time to practice. Now they would be playing on turning tracks and definitely would know where they stand," he said when asked about the fairness of playing on turners."
Oct 27, 2012 10:34pm
Oh England Oh England why you get scared so easily. You invented the game and now Asians made it even better. Why cry if you can't play the spin let your fast bowlers perform the trick. Even before the match England team started to cry about the spin instead of really going in to kill the spin. A good batsman can play spin or pace but a poor one will always make excuses. There is no set standards for pitch and how it should be prepared and that is the charm of the cricket. The surprise of how a pitch behave makes everybody guessing , it make cricket fun to play and watch.
Oct 26, 2012 03:35pm
Why surprised? Has England prepared tracks to suit themselves? Then I am sure you are not talking about playing Cricket , are you? well it died a long time ago when National egos came to play.
Oct 27, 2012 03:53pm
Great thought BCCI! Well done!!
Oct 27, 2012 10:40am
If am not wrong last time when India toured England...Sachin had a practice session with Monty (I guess even he was not in the team) and for that reason he was heavily sacked ..... U people had ur part of tricks and we r having ours....... Whats the big deal in that ?? why r u looking for favors from your opponents .... silly stuff huh....
Oct 27, 2012 11:58am
This is coming from a country where Andy Flower was angry with Monty Panesar for bowling to Tendulkar in the nets!
Oct 27, 2012 01:27pm
True face of Indian mindset
Oct 26, 2012 08:22pm
I will have to agree with Vaughn on this.
Oct 28, 2012 01:28am
Oct 28, 2012 01:28am
A very silly approach by England cricket board. Does a player of chess or cards reveal his tatics, before the commencement of play? If hey want a practice, they can pay the spinners in India, not included in the team. I am sure there would be plenty of them in India. And if they want world renowned spinners, they can hire any one from the playing eleven form Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. Do they want the payment to those spinners from the Indian Board?
Iftikhar khan
Oct 28, 2012 12:32am
England,your days are over so do not cry and get ready to face the reality. You did what ever you wanted to do in your golden Era ,preparing fast tracks to suit your fast bowlers and also bowling number of bouncers to lower order batsmen mostly bowlers ,Remember.
Oct 28, 2012 12:13pm
The last time England toured, they got walloped 0-5 and that too after having a substantial outing with Indian spinners in warm-up matches. Seems the whinging Englishmen have already found an alibi for their impending white-wash in the coming series.